Importance of Stroke Awareness

Many of you know already how passionate I am about raising greater awareness about stroke and prevention of those that can be prevented, and that I do talks and donate funds from the sale of my book to help raise greater awareness.

Recent reports illustrate that stroke in young people has increased by 25% and yet in some cases, we still hear that young people are often not diagnosed immediately as they are initially considered too young for a stroke.

Up to one in 10 new strokes happens to people of working age between 20 and 64.  This number increased by 25% from 1990 to 2010 worldwide, according to the Stroke Association. It is thought that more sedentary life styles,

It is thought that more sedentary life styles, diabetes and high blood pressure are among the causes, but up to half the cases in younger people are unknown!  No mention of other factors that can contribute towards stroke such as, AF, one type of migraine in woman, both of which, if treated, remove the risk of a stroke. No mention of stroke during pregnancy or exercise related strokes and or energy boosting substances perhaps?

Stroke has always been associated with the elderly, but this mindset has to change as sadly stroke can strike anyone at any age, even babies. According to the South London Cardiac and Stroke Network, up to 12% of first strokes occur in people under 45 and about a quarter people of working age. According to NHS figures reported by the Stroke Association National data from the United States, in the Journal of the American Heart Association, shows that over the decade since 2010, which incidentally is when I had my stroke at age 45, hospitalisation rates for strokes increased by 43.8% in the 25 to 45 age group.

So why the rise? It is said to be unclear why such a rise has occurred. A study by the Stroke Association found 62% of young adults smoked, drank alcohol in excess or took illegal drugs; personally I did not fit into that category, don’t get me wrong I enjoy a drink like many people but not to excess. So for me, this does not answer the question. From people I talk to and mentor, I notice that there are more and more fit and active, sporty people having strokes. So should we be looking more at irregular heart situations, possibly help people with their performance training? Also, hormone levels etc. during pregnancy. Things like sticky blood, ‘Hughes Syndrome’, the more unusual conditions. Just because someone presents a slim healthy appearance on the outside does not necessarily mean all is well inside.  If a patient says something is not right, do not readily dismiss it as stress. I realise I am merely a stroke survivor saying this, not a doctor, but surely it has some value don’t you agree?

There are still too many powerful myths out there that stroke only happens to old people, and when young people show symptoms of stroke they are not always diagnosed as often their symptoms can be different, child stroke too often different again.  They may loose the use of one side of their body, then it could come back temporarily, and they may only present symptoms of unsteadiness often thought to be drink-related. Yet in this age-group stroke is definitely on the rise. We know hypertension is one cause and you only need to read my last blog to see I made the connection between energy drinks and heart rate. Maybe they should carry a health warning about blood pressure on the packaging,  know your blood pressure, what it should be etc.? That potentially could be beneficial.

In conclusion, we know strokes are on the rise in young people. It is not truly known as to why.  To me, it is ever more essential we raise greater awareness. We, as survivors who want to, should be invited into colleges, universities, and businesses to do talks to raise awareness. In businesses, people go back and relay to their families, and in the young, the message is spread amongst their friends. Powerful progress I say.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *