Younger people having more strokes
There has been a big rise in the number of working age men and women having stroke.
Experts said unhealthy lifestyles were partly to blame for the rise, though the growing population and changes to hospital practice also played a part.
Researchers say based on their findings strokes should not be considered as a disease of the old.
Strokes are caused by blood clots or bleeds to the brain and can lead to long lasting disability.
The majority occur in people aged over 65, and though rates are decreasing in this group, this report suggests growing numbers of younger people are at risk.
Experts analysed national hospital admission data spanning 2000 to 2014.
These findings highlight the importance of ensuring your blood pressure and cholesterol are under control, as well as having a health check at the age of 40.
Trends for people in their 40s and early 50s appeared to be getting worse. In women aged 40-54, there were an extra 1,075 strokes recorded in 2014, compared with 2000.
Experts said growing obesity levels, sedentary lives and unhealthy diets – which raise the risks of dangerous blood clots – all played a part.
And they argued strokes among this age group had long lasting personal and financial impacts on individuals and their families, as well as on the economy.
Recovering patients can find it difficult to return to work and should have more support from employers, the report suggests.
Jon Barrick, of the Stroke Association, said: “These figures show stroke can no longer be seen as a disease of older people.”
“There is an alarming increase in the numbers of people having a stroke in working age. This comes at a huge cost, not only to the individual, but also to their families and to health and social care services.”
The Stroke Association said that even younger people should be aware of the warning signs such as dizziness, difficulties with speech and changes in the face.
Tags: Health Direct, Heart Disease, obese, postcode lottery, Strokes