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Although the effects of stroke are the same in different age groups, younger people are likely to have different concerns about their family, their finances, and social and employment issues.
last year in Torbay alone 330 people had a stroke. Stroke is often thought to only affect older people but about a third of strokes occur in people of working age. In adults of any age, the majority of strokes are ischaemic (caused by a blockage in the blood supply to the brain).
Only around 20 per cent of all strokes are haemorrhagic (caused by bleeding within or around the brain). However, haemorrhagic stroke is relatively common in younger adults.
Studies estimate that between about 40 and 50 per cent of strokes in younger adults are
due to bleeding.
What causes stroke in younger adults?
All the causes of stroke in older adults can also occur in younger people. Some risk factors such as atherosclerosis (hardening and furring up of the arteries), are less likely to occur in younger people.
However, there are some risk factors which tend to affect younger adults in particular.
High blood pressure: It is the biggest risk factor for stroke in both younger and older adults. About 30 per cent of people under 50 who have had a stroke, have high blood pressure.
Diabetes: This is a condition where your body is unable to process glucose (sugar). This leads to very high levels of sugar in your blood. Some studies suggest that diabetes is second only to high blood pressure as a risk factor for stroke in young people.
Dissection: Sometimes blood can get between the layers of artery walls which can lead to a clot forming in the artery or blood escaping into the brain. This is called dissection and sometimes happens for no clear reason or may be the result of an
injury such as whiplash.
Problems with the blood vessels: Haemorrhages in particular are often the result of a weakness in part of your vascular system.