Strokes more common in younger adults, children
Stroke victims, who are common patients in physical therapy offices, are typically older adults who need assistance relearning some basic motor functions lost as a result of the cerebral infarction.
Though most of these patients are in their 60s or older, doctors and physical therapists nationwide have reported seeing strokes in younger individuals, St Louis Today reports.
According to data presented this week at the International Stroke Conference in San Antonio, more than 7 percent of first-time stroke patients are now younger than 45, and the rate of strokes among people in their 20s, 30s and 40s has almost doubled in recent years.
Additionally, the pediatric stroke program at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia estimates that about 9,000 children in the U.S. have strokes each year - and in most cases, a risk factor cannot be identified.
"This is just the beginning of this alarming trend," said Dr Jin-Moo Lee, director of the stroke section of neurology at Washington University.
He added, "Normally it takes on the order of decades for diabetes to wreak havoc on the blood vessels."
According to the National Stroke Association, strokes are the third leading cause of death in the U.S.
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