Stroke Before 50: Why Age Does Not Eliminate Risk

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There are many misconceptions about stroke that can prevent people from getting the emergency care they need to minimize brain damage and the long-term disabilities that may result. One of the most prevalent misconceptions is that stroke only affects older adults. However, stroke can arise in patients of all ages, which means that younger adults should not assume that they are immune from stroke. This article will offer a closer look at stroke in adults under 50 to break the age-related misconceptions of this life-threatening condition.

Stroke Likelihood before 50

About 10% of strokes occur in adults between the ages of 18 and 50. With more than 795,000 strokes occurring in the United States each year, there is a significant number of younger adults who face stroke.

High Chances of Long-Term Disability

While there has been an assumption in the medical community that young people are more likely to make a full recovery from stroke, recent research has found that many adults under 50 who suffer from stroke did not have the skills for independent living after a nine-year follow-up. Even in patients who seem to have a mostly positive recovery, there may be long-term damage that leads to permanent disability.

Risk Factors for Early Stroke

Stroke risk factors to consider beyond age include obesity, cigarette smoking, and poor diet, which are all preventable factors that young people should not ignore. Non-preventable risk factors such as family history are still important to recognize, because individuals with a family history of stroke may need to take more steps in stroke prevention. Women also have a slightly higher risk of stroke, which may be elevated by the use of oral contraceptives.

Regional Medical Center of San Jose can help you manage your stroke risk and provide the emergency care you need when stroke symptoms are suspected. To explore our services in detail, visit our website or call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (408) 259-4000. 

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