Experts are raising health concerns after observing increasing number of stroke incidents among younger adults.
Data from Ohio and Kentucky showed that more young people were having strokes while the number was decreasing among older people.
The study's lead author Brett M. Kissela, Associate Professor, Co-Director of the Neurology Residency Program, and Vice-Chair of Education and Clinical Services at the University of Cincinnati Neuroscience Institute, found that the average age of stroke patients in 2005 was nearly three years younger than the average age of stroke patients in 1993-1994.
Researchers also noticed that the percentage of people 20 to 45 having a stroke was up to 7.3 percent in 2005 from 4.5 percent in 1993-1994.
He said: "This is scary and very concerning. What was shocking was the proportion of patients under age 45. The proportion is up, the incidence rate is up."
The increased prevalence of diabetes, hypertension and obesity could be a possible explanation for the trend noted likely occurring throughout the United States, the research speculated.
Kissela added: "As physicians, we need to look for these potent risk factors even in young people. Stroke is a life-changing, devastating disease. It can affect young people, and we hope these data will serve as a wake-up call.
"From a public health standpoint, we need to do our best to prevent stroke at any age and monitor for stroke and stroke risk factors in all patients."
The study's co-authors included Kathleen Alwell, Jane Khoury, Charles J. Moomaw, Daniel Woo, Opeolu Adeoye, Matthew L. Flaherty, Pooja Khatri, Simona Ferioli, Joseph P. Broderick, and Dawn Kleindorfer.
The findings were presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2010.