Ischemic stroke hospitalizations decline in middle-aged, elderly, increases in young

February 9, 2011, American Heart Association

The number of acute ischemic stroke hospitalizations among middle-aged and older men and women fell between 1994 and 2007, but sharply increased among those under age 35 — including teens and children — according to research presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2011.

Analysts at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reviewing hospitalization data by age and gender, identified declining rates of 51 percent in girls 0-4 years and 25 percent in men and 29 percent in women over 45.

However, the number of hospitalizations increased 51 percent in males between ages 15 and 34 during the period studied. The rate increased 17 percent in females between 15 and 34.

Among children and teens, they found a 31 percent increase in boys between 5 to 14 years and a 36 percent increase among girls 5 to 14 years.

Among the younger middle-aged set, they found a 47 percent increase among men 35-44 and a 36 percent increase among women 35-44.

"I believe this is the first large study to report these findings, stratified by age and gender," said Xin Tong, M.P.H., a health statistician with the CDC's Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention in Atlanta.

"We cannot link anything in particular to the trend in younger patients, but I believe the role of obesity and hypertension will prompt a big discussion. Unfortunately, right now we can't speculate on the causes."

The unit of analysis was hospitalization, so researchers couldn't draw any firm connections or determine what factors are driving the increase in ischemic stroke cases among the young. Ischemic stroke occurs when blood supply to the brain becomes obstructed, usually by a clot or narrowing of the arteries. The risk of long-term brain damage can be reduced significantly if patients receive the clot-busting tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) within three or four and a half hours after stroke onset.

Hospitals and physicians should be aware of the rising risk of stroke in young people, and the necessity to educate them about stroke symptoms, Tong said.

" is currently considered something that mostly happens to older people, but awareness of rising rates in the young is important or else tPA and other important treatment may be unnecessarily delayed in younger patients," she said.

Tong said her group is pursuing additional investigation on this subject.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Largest oral HPV study in England shows infection rates lower than expected

August 20, 2018
Infection rates of high risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) oral infection in England are lower than expected, compared to previous US studies.

Tibetan sheep highly susceptible to human plague, originates from marmots

August 16, 2018
In the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, one of the region's highest risk areas for human plague, Himalayan marmots are the primary carriers of the infectious bacterium Y. pestis. Y. pestis infection can be transmitted to humans and ...

Autoimmunity plays role in development of COPD, study finds

August 16, 2018
Autoimmunity plays a role in the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a study led by Georgia State University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center that analyzed human genome information ...

Reliable point-of-care blood test can help prevent toxoplasmosis

August 16, 2018
A recent study, performed in Chicago and Rabat, Morocco, found that a novel finger-prick test for infection with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii during pregnancy—and many other potential applications—is 100 percent sensitive ...

Scientists identify nearly 200 potential tuberculosis drug targets

August 16, 2018
Tuberculosis is one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide. Nearly 2 million people die every year from this infectious disease, and an estimated 2 billion people are chronically infected. The only vaccine, developed almost ...

First mouse model to mimic lung disease could speed discovery of more effective treatments

August 16, 2018
The biggest hurdle to finding effective therapies for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) – a life-threatening condition in which the lungs become scarred and breathing is increasingly difficult – has been the inability ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.