Why Stroke Rates Are Increasing Among Young and Middle-Age Adults

Dec 21, 2022
Why Stroke Rates Are Increasing Among Young and Middle-Age Adults
Stroke is on the rise in younger populations, and experts are continuously studying the factors behind the increase. Keep reading to find out how to recognize the signs and what to expect from rehabilitation.

A stroke is a medical event that causes significant damage to the neural pathways inside your brain. Strokes happen when a blood clot blocks oxygenated blood from entering your brain or when you experience bleeding in your brain. The longer you go without getting treatment, the more likely you are to experience long-term damage and life-altering changes in your cognition. 

At Delaware NeuroRehab in Dover, Delaware, we specialize in rehabilitation for brain injuries caused by a stroke to minimize the long-term effects. Even if your stroke is severe, rehabilitation can go a long way in restoring your memory and brain function. 

While roughly three-quarters of strokes occur in people over 65, there is a concerning trend showing an increasing number of strokes among young and middle-aged adults. 

So, why is stroke suddenly becoming a problem among younger people? There are likely several explanations. 

Solving the mystery of increasing stroke rates among young people

Ongoing research explores the reasons why stroke rates are increasing in younger populations. There are likely behavioral factors at play, like Substance use disorder, and a high-fat or high-salt diet. By leading a healthy lifestyle, you may be able to minimize your risk of having another stroke in the future. 

Know the signs

Familiarizing yourself with the initial signs and symptoms of stroke makes it easier to recognize a stroke in a friend, family member, or acquaintance to rapidly get them the care they need. 

Per the American Stroke Association, you can use the acronym, “FAST” to keep stroke symptoms accessible in your mind:

F - Face drooping

You usually have complete control over all of your facial muscles. A stroke can limit that ability. If someone’s face is drooping on one side, they may be having a stroke. If you can’t tell for sure, approach them to ask if they feel numb or tell them to smile and see if it’s asymmetrical. 

A - Arm weakness

Just like face drooping, arm weakness associated with stroke happens suddenly and usually just on one side. If you suspect someone is having a stroke, you can ask them to raise their arms. It’s possible they’re mid-stroke if one arm cannot be lifted or if it droops downward after they lift it. 

S - Slurred speech

Speaking becomes difficult when you’re having a stroke. They might struggle to enunciate words when they speak.

T - Time to take action

As soon as you suspect someone is having a stroke, it’s time to shift gears into emergency mode. Call 9-1-1 immediately to get prompt treatment and minimize brain damage from the bleeding or lack of blood supply. 

The rehabilitation that comes next

Our interdisciplinary team specializes in providing rehabilitative services when a stroke happens at any age. As you start on the road to recovery, our experts help you set personal goals while supporting you as you take part in an individualized rehabilitation plan. 

Although the news of increasing stroke rates among younger people is daunting, the good news is that younger individuals have greater brain plasticity, which improves your chances of making a complete recovery. Our team can rehabilitate you with:

  • Speech therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Psychotherapy and counseling
  • Physiatry
  • Occupational therapy
  • Assistive devices and adaptive equipment

We also provide ongoing neuropsychological evaluations to track your functional progress as you take part in stroke rehabilitation. With plenty of evidence-based resources and a supportive care team, you can regain many of the functions that may be limited because of a stroke during your youth or middle age. 

Learn more about stroke rehabilitation today

To find out more about stroke and the rehabilitation process, schedule an appointment online or over the phone at Delaware NeuroRehab today.