Strokes are increasing among a surprising population

 

Ravish Kothari, MD
Palmetto Health-USC Neurology

Doctors have seen a rising incidence of stroke in a part of the population you may not expect – young people.

Ravish Kothari, MD, Palmetto Health-USC Neurology, has seen this trend first hand. “It can happen anywhere, anytime and to anyone. Younger age does not make you immune to stroke.”

According to the National Stroke Association, a stroke occurs every 40 seconds. It is the leading cause of disability and fifth leading cause of death in the United States.

“South Carolina is in the buckle of the Stroke Belt, which means strokes are very high in this region,” said Dr. Kothari. Even among young people.

To prevent stroke, Dr. Kothari offers this advice.

  1. A healthy lifestyle can help prevent stroke.
    • Incorporate fruits and vegetables into your diet.
    • Participate in regular exercise (30 minutes of activity a day, five days a week).
  2. Avoid drugs.
    • Drug use is a major contributing factor in the increase of stroke among young people.
    • Drugs like marijuana and cocaine have been connected to higher risk of stroke.
    • If you do drink alcohol, drink in moderation.
  3. Get regular check-ups.
    • Some predispositions to stroke such as high blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol can be monitored by your primary physician.
  4. Learn the signs- BE FAST
    • Stroke patients could “look healthy” right up until the first sign. It is crucial to be aware of the signs and symptoms.
  5. Reacting quickly can help avoid long-term complications.
    • Possible disabilities include chronic weakness, vision problems, speech issues and post-stroke depression.
    • In young people, such disabilities disrupt societal productivity and affect areas of life such as work, sex, family, healthare and mental health.
  6. If you or someone else is experience any of these symptoms, call 9-1-1 immediately.