Strokes in young people increasing, doctors warn

Strokes in young people are increasing, with adults as young as in their 20s are at risk.
Strokes in young people are increasing, with adults as young as in their 20s are at risk.(WGEM)
Published: Mar. 22, 2022 at 4:08 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - It was once thought that strokes mainly happened to older people, but that’s not the case anymore. Strokes in young people are increasing, with adults as young as in their 20s are at risk.

According to Norton Healthcare, it’s largely due to young people having risk factors previously associated with the older population a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, high cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes, and sleep apnea.

Women on birth control who smoke and experience migraines with aura are at a high risk as well.

Tuesday on WAVE Now, Maira Ansari spoke with Dr. Bryan Eckerle, a stroke neurologist from Norton Neuroscience Institute. He said if you think you or someone you know is having a stroke, get help immediately and call 911 and go to the hospital in an ambulance.

“One of the real tragic ironies of stroke is that it’s usually not painful,” Eckerle said. “People having heart attacks are having chest pain and having difficulty breathing and they get medical attention. Strokes are often painless, sometimes get ignored written off or people think will pass on their own. Once that acute treatment window or that option to give IV medicine or surgery has passed it becomes a much longer road to recovery.”

Doctors remind of the following acronym “BE FAST,” highlighting symptoms of a stroke:

  • Balance — loss of balance, coordination, or dizziness
  • Eyes — having trouble seeing or change in vision in one or both eyes
  • Face — uneven smile or face looks uneven, droopy or is numb
  • Arms — one arm drops when raising both arms; numbness or weakness in one arm
  • Speech — trouble speaking; slurred or difficult speech
  • Time — note the time when symptoms start: Time lost equals brain lost.

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WAVE — Louisville and Southern Indiana's NBC affiliate. Follow us on Twitter & Instagram @wave3news.(WAVE)

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