October 24, 2013 (AFP) – Ever younger people are suffering strokes, according to two studies published on Thursday that warned death, disability and illness from strokes could double by 2030, partly due to unhealthy lifestyles.
There had been a 25 percent increase in the number of strokes among those aged between 20 and 64 over the past 20 years — now making up 31 percent of the total compared to 25 percent before 1990, said the studies in The Lancet medical journal.
Under-75′s now account for 62 percent of new strokes, 45 percent of deaths, and 72 percent of illness and disability.
The researchers found that more than 83,000 people aged 20 and younger suffered strokes every year — about 0.5 percent of the total.
And they warned the shift in stroke burden towards younger people would continue unless urgent steps are taken to get people to improve unhealthy lifestyles — mainly by reducing consumption of salt, calories, alcohol and tobacco.
They showed that in 2010, 61.5 percent of disability and 51.7 percent of deaths were caused by haemorrhagic strokes — which occur when a weakened blood vessel ruptures and is mainly caused by high blood pressure and unhealthy lifestyles.