Monday, May 2. 2011
While fewer stroke cases have occurred among the elderly since 2005, young adults between the ages of 20 and 45 as well as children and teens saw an increase in reported strokes, according to the American Heart Association (AHA).
The New York Times cites "obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure among teenagers and young adults" as prime culprits. However, improved diagnostic testing and better tracking of stroke cases may also be responsible for the rise.
Proper diagnosis is just the first step to improving over-all heart health, according to AHA. Prevention, especially among young adults, is the next. Now that college-aged adults can continue on their family health insurance until the age of 26, healthcare professionals are expected to have an easier time monitoring the lifestyle choices of this at-risk population.
Furthermore, more affordable health insurance is on the horizon as a result of healthcare reform, meaning more low-income individuals will have improved access to healthcare.
"Starting healthy behaviors at a young age is critical to entering middle age in good shape," according to AHA president Ralph Sacco. "The investment you make in your health now will have a large payoff as you age."
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