Stroke is a stroke in which there is “an alteration of cerebral circulation, which causes a temporary or definitive deficit in the functioning of one or several areas of the brain”, according to Ministry of Health. Normally, this is always linked to elderly people, but the reality is that stroke in young patients is very present.

Depending on how the injury occurs, lack of blood supply or rupture of a blood vessel, the stroke can be classified as ischemic or hemorrhagic. The first is the one that occurs most frequently and occurs in up to 50% of young patients under 45 years of age, as indicated by Spanish Society of Neurology (SEN), when its prevalence is usually 20%.

What are the causes of stroke in young patients?

Strokes in young patients are not normal, although data from recent years have made this change. The cases have been increasing and the current situation has strengthened it. In fact, the Spanish Society of Neurosurgery (SENEC) reports that “the coronavirus is behind the increase in serious strokes in patients under 50 years of age”.

But although COVID-19 can be one of the causes of stroke in young patients, there are others. The nonvalvular atrial fibrillation, acute myocardial infarction or left ventricular dysfunction are some of them. But what is it that causes a young patient to suffer from this stroke?

The reasons are usually related to unhealthy habits. For example, smoking, alcohol or drug abuse, obesity, diabetes, or even stress. If, in addition, some of these risk factors are combined, the result is a most dangerous combination.

Characteristics of strokes in young people

Two out of ten strokes are caused by cardiac arrhythmias preventable with self-care and medical monitoring

Although it is believed that having a stroke when you are under 45 years of age recovery can be faster, this is not always the case. In fact, the SEN states that “50% are left with disabling sequelae or die”. Therefore, do not take it lightly.

The how to detect a stroke It is by monitoring if there is sudden loss of mobility and sensation in any part of the face or extremities. Also, pay attention to sudden loss of ability to speak, sudden headache, feeling dizzy, or loss of vision. The sooner you seek medical help, the better the prognosis, since you can act earlier.

Fortunately, according to the SEN, 90% of strokes are preventable. A very high percentage. The Dr. María Alonso de Leciñana explains that “generating the habit of controlling blood pressure, weight, abdominal waist and leading a healthy lifestyle, which involves quitting tobacco and moderate alcohol consumption, reducing weight, exercising and reducing salt in meals would be the main advice ”.

Therefore, introduce these habits would reduce the number of strokes that occur in patients young people who, increasingly, are presenting problems due to sedentary lifestyle, alcohol abuse and obesity. Today that we celebrate World Stroke Day is an opportunity to raise awareness that this is not only a problem for the elderly, but also for the young.