Specialists seeing stroke strike younger patients

Fri, Mar 4, 2016

Stroke experts are noticing a growing trend among their patients. They’re getting younger.


“We’re seeing an increase in stroke patients under the age of 45,” said Dr. Ziad Darkhabani, an interventional neurologist with Aurora BayCare who specializes in stroke and neurocritical care. “It’s concerning, especially as the incidence of contributing factors like obesity and high blood pressure continue to rise nationwide. In addition, the younger people are when they have a stroke, the longer they will need long-term care if disabled. It’s a real concern for us.”


National Public Radio story: Strokes on the rise among younger adults


A stroke is a brain attack occurring when blood flow to an area of brain is blocked. The result is brain cells are deprived of oxygen and begin to die. When such brain cells die, abilities controlled by that area of the brain, for example, memory and muscle control, are lost.


About 10 percent of all strokes occur in people between 18 and 50 years old, according to the American Heart Association’s Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – 2016 Update.


However, stroke is not necessarily becoming a younger person’s disease.


“We’re still seeing most of our cases within the older patient population. It’s just troubling that we’re seeing younger patients in that mix,” Darkhabani said. “We must continue to promote stroke prevention including the importance of maintaining a healthy weight and diet and treating diabetes and encouraging people to quit smoking.”


Stroke symptoms, risks factors and prevention.


Aurora BayCare Medical Center-Interventional Neurology treats stroke and other conditions of the brain, neck and spine. For information, call 920-288-8044 or 855-819-9935 or request an appointment online.


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BayCare Clinic,, is the largest physician-owned specialty-care clinic in northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. BayCare Clinic offers expertise in more than 20 specialties, with more than 100 physicians serving in 16 area communities. BayCare Clinic is a joint partner in Aurora BayCare Medical Center, a 167-bed, full-service hospital. Follow BayCare Clinic on Facebook and Twitter.