More and more children are suffering from a stroke

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Stroke increase in children and adolescents

The number of stroke patients among children and adolescents in the United States has increased significantly in recent years. This is the conclusion reached by researchers from the US health agency "Centers for Disease Control and Prevention" (CDC) in Atlanta, when evaluating the medical data of more than eight million patients from the period between 1995 and 2008.

The scientists cited the increase in cardiovascular risk factors as a result of the unhealthy lifestyle of adolescents as the cause of the significant increase in strokes among American adolescents when their results were published in the specialist magazine "Annals of Neurology". The researchers cite a lack of exercise, obesity, alcohol and nicotine consumption as the main reasons for an increased incidence of ischemic strokes. The so-called diabetes, which is also favored by an unhealthy lifestyle, is to be understood as a possible risk factor for strokes, according to the US researchers.

37 percent more strokes in 15- to 44-year-olds Up to now, older people in particular were considered to be at risk of stroke, although those affected often had high blood pressure values, severe overweight or diabetes for a longer period before the acute attack. Since the unhealthy lifestyle among adolescents in the United States with improper nutrition, lack of exercise, alcohol and nicotine consumption significantly increases the occurrence of these stroke risk factors at a young age, the number of strokes among relatively young people has also increased significantly, the US scientists report Health authority. According to the CDC, the number of stroke patients between the ages of 15 and 44 has increased by a full 37 percent since 1994. While the so-called ischemic strokes caused by poor brain blood flow are still relatively rare in younger people compared to older people, the trend is worrying, the US experts report.

Strokes in adolescents increased by over thirty percent According to the analysis of medical data from the period 1994/95 to 2006/07, strokes in men between the ages of 15 and 34 increased by 51 percent, the US scientists explained. However, this corresponded to an increase from an average of 9.8 to 14.8 strokes per 10,000 hospital admissions, the experts continued. According to the scientists, the number of strokes among slightly older men (35 to 44 year olds) rose by 47 percent from 36 to 52.9 cases per 10,000 hospital admissions. The increase in strokes among the 15- to 34-year-old younger women is less dramatic, but here too there was an increase of 17 percent between 1994 and 2007 (from an average of 3.6 to 4.2 strokes per 10,000 hospital admissions). The number of affected people among the slightly older women from the group of 35 to 44 year olds rose by 36 percent during the study period from 21.9 to 30 strokes per 10,000 hospital admissions, according to the results of the current study. Among the boys and girls under the age of 14, according to the US researchers, there was also an over 30 percent increase in strokes (girls 36 percent, boys 31 percent), with the case numbers with four girls and five boys per 10th hospital admissions were also relatively low here.

Increase in risk factors for stroke The US scientists report that young stroke patients were subject to a risk factor similar to that that applies to older people. According to the current study, for example, 25 percent of 15- to 44-year-old sufferers had diabetes prior to their stroke-related hospitalization. A third of the stroke patients in this age group had high blood pressure, and in the 35- to 44-year-olds it was almost 50 percent. The causes of the increase in strokes are therefore due to a significant increase in risk factors, which in turn is due to the unhealthy lifestyle of those affected, the US experts explained. In addition to an unbalanced diet and a corresponding excess weight, the researchers cited a lack of exercise, alcohol and cigarettes as significant factors influencing the risk of stroke. As Mary George of the CDC said, young people need to be encouraged to live a healthy lifestyle right from the start, because a balanced diet, exercise, and avoiding alcohol and nicotine can help prevent stroke.

250,000 fatal strokes in Germany per year Since stroke risk factors such as obesity and diabetes have also increased significantly among German adolescents in recent years - if not to the same extent as in the United States - the experts here in Germany also expect an increase in young people in the future Stroke patients. According to the Federal Statistical Office, around 250,000 people across Germany are already dying from a stroke every year - and the trend is rising. According to the experts, typical symptoms include acute visual disturbances, understanding disorders, word finding disorders, paralysis of the face, arms, legs, or even a whole half of the body, as well as dizziness and severe headaches. If there are signs of a stroke, contact an emergency doctor as soon as possible, and younger people should also always be aware of the risk in view of the current study results, because strokes are by no means an illness that occurs exclusively in old age. (fp)

Also read:
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Lack of sleep promotes stroke and heart attack

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