A new study finds that 15 percent of the most common type of strokes occur in adolescents and young adults.
Co-author neurologist Jose Biller of Loyola University Medical Center said that the impact of strokes in this age group is devastating to the adolescent or young adult, their families and society.
About 85 percent of all strokes are ischemic, meaning they are caused by blockages that block blood flow to the brain. And more young people have risk factors for ischemic strokes.
Those risks include high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, abnormal cholesterol levels, congenital heart disease and smoking.
Strokes in young people have a disproportionally large economic impact, because they can disable patients before their most productive years. And while coping with the shock of having a stroke, "younger survivors may be dealing with relationships, careers and raising children - issues that require additional awareness and resources," the consensus report said.
Biller, one of the nation's leading experts on stroke in young people, is second author of the consensus report. Biller is chair of the Department of Neurology of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. First author of the report is Aneesh Singhal, MD of Massachusetts General Hospital.
The study has been published in the journal Neurology.