Strokes are on an alarming rise in young Americans. This serious and deadly condition is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. Experts have been working diligently to identify the reasons why the incidence of strokes in adults under 55 are continually rising. Here’s what we’ve learned so far:
It’s no secret that factors like high blood pressure, high bad cholesterol and diabetes increase the risk of stroke. But many young adults don’t seem to understand that these risk factors are as relevant to them as they are to older adults or that the overwhelming majority of strokes are preventable with healthy lifestyle choices.
Most risk factors related to ischemic strokes (the most common type of stroke) trace back to a sedentary lifestyle and obesity. Obesity itself is increasing rapidly in young adults–35.7% of young adults were found to be obese in a 2016 study. Smoking, alcohol and drug consumption are also on the rise in young adults as well as inactivity–all factors related to a sedentary lifestyle. When you weigh these factors, it’s no wonder strokes are happening more in young Americans.
If you think the answer to preventing strokes is to fight obesity with an intense exercise and diet program, think again. While regular, daily exercise is most definitely recommended, some experts believe that certain high-intensity workouts–particularly those that put pressure on the neck like Crossfit, yoga, and pilates– can also increase your risk of stroke. Fad or crash diets that help you shed weight quickly also carry a number of serious health risks, which is a why a healthy diet rich in veggies and fruit and 30 minutes of low to moderate-intensity exercise are all that most adults need to prevent a stroke.
Visiting your medical provider for routine checkups and exams are also essential in reducing your stroke risk. Screenings for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity are part of every physical exam. Visiting your provider regularly for these exams helps you keep a better check on your health and encourages you to maintain a healthier lifestyle throughout the year.
Schedule your yearly physical exam and stroke screening with EliteCare today by dialing or texting 662-348-3342.