Strokes affecting younger Americans, study shows

It’s disturbing news: Strokes are no longer a disease affecting the elderly.

A new study published online in the journal Neurology, it was revealed that stroke victims are increasingly younger than before.

The study, which looked at around 1.3 million American adults, found the rate of the first stroke among patients between ages 20 to 54 jumped from 12.9 percent in 1993 and 1994 to 18.6 percent in 2005, ABC News reported. The study was authored by Dr. Brett Kissela of the University of Cincinnati in Ohio, among some of his colleagues.

The change may be reflective of the uptick in stroke risk factors, such as hypertension, diabetes and smoking in younger Americans, Kissela said.

In the group aged 20 t0 54, incidence among black Americans jumped from 83 to 128 per 100,000 and for whites the incidence almost doubled from 26 per 100,000 to 48 per 100,000 from 1993/1994 to 2005, the study showed.