Stroke begins at 44 and beyond

March 26, 2009 by  

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birthday_cakeThe 40s. It’s when life is really supposed to start. It’s also when people get into the so-called midlife crisis.

A recent Finnish study also suggests that the 40s is the age when we have to take care of our cardiovascular health because the rates of ischemic stroke increase dramatically beyond our 44th year of life. And most especially if you are male. The Finnish study looked at 1,008 ischemic stroke patients aged 15 to 49 years old. Here are some of the figures the researchers found:

The researchers looked at stroke incidence in different age groups and found that stroke under the age of 30 occurs more often in women. The incidence of stroke increases with age and by the age of 44, the incidence is almost equal between men and women. After this point, a sharp increase in first stroke incidence in males was observed.

Most of the risk factors observed were lifestyle related and modifiable, and the most frequent are:

  • dyslipidemia (60%)
  • smoking (44%)
  • hypertension (39%)

In addition, less frequent risk factors but nevertheless potentially dangerous were observed such as heavy alcohol consumption, which is common among men, migraine among women, use of illicit drugs among younger patients.

What surprised the researchers are the high number of silent as well as multiple ischemic strokes occurring, sometimes with the patient being aware of them.

Other key findings are:

As I approach that stage called midlife, I am very aware of the health problems that come with it and stroke is just one of them. The American Stroke Association gives a comprehensive patient-friendly overview of stroke and how we can prevent it.

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.

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