Wednesday, July 05, 2017

More millennials are having strokes

Is a stroke tsunami heading this way? That's one thought expressed in this piece on how more millennials are having strokes:
Although many of the details are murky, the potential impact is clear: In the short term severe strokes among younger adults are a big problem because disability in people in their peak earning years can severely impact their families and future lives, Elkind says. Longer-term, more strokes — even relatively mild ones — among younger adults are worrying because they portend an upcoming epidemic of worse attacks in another 30 years (since survivors’ second strokes are more likely to be stronger and potentially fatal). “We are just seeing those little waves hitting the beach now but that tsunami will come in the future,” says Elkind, who notes that risk factors such as obesity and smoking are cumulative over time.
Unraveling the reasons behind the trend remains a complex matter. The earlier analysis from stroke expert Mary George and colleagues at the CDC, published this year in JAMA Neurology, found stroke risk factors such as obesity, smoking and hypertension are growing among younger adults. And Scientific American’s number crunching found that not all the 18- to 34-year-olds’ stroke data mirrored trends seen in other age groups. Younger adults, for example, saw statistically significant increases in stroke rates in the Midwest and West. This is somewhat at odds with regional risks in the broader population, which are more concentrated in the southeastern U.S. In western cities with more than one million residents, for example, the analysis found strokes increased about 85 percent during the 2003 to 2012 time period. In the West as a region, strokes rose 70 percent at the same time. Across the Midwest they increased 34 percent. But in the South the relative increase was smaller and, unlike the spikes in other mentioned areas, this jump did not appear to be statistically significant.

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