Ahead of World Stroke Day 2023, on 29 October, physicians from the Get Ahead of Stroke campaign are highlighting the fact that, while prevalence of stroke in the USA is declining in adults aged 75 years and older, it is rising in adults aged 49 years and younger.
Knowing the signs of stroke “is more important now than ever before”, according to a recent statement from the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery (SNIS), as young adults across the USA are experiencing life-threatening strokes “without being able to identify what is happening to them”.
Similar trends are occurring across the world; a recent study in England found a 67% increase in stroke incidence among participants younger than 55 years old and a 15% decrease in stroke incidence among participants 55 years old or older. These findings may be surprising to many, as stroke is often considered a disease of old age, the statement also notes.
“Many Americans think they do not need to learn about stroke until they or their loved ones are older but, given the recent research, it is important for everyone to be aware of the symptoms and call 911 right away when they suspect stroke,” said Mahesh Jayaraman (Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, USA), president of the SNIS.
“BE FAST, an acronym used to spot signs of stroke, is something every household should commit to memory. Should you notice someone exhibit these symptoms: loss of balance (B), loss of or blurry eyesight (E), face drooping (F), arm weakness (A), or speech difficulty (S), then it is time (T) to call 911.
“This World Stroke Day, we hope Americans remember that anyone, at any age, can have a stroke. While this fact may be frightening, stroke treatment is available, and it can increase the chances that stroke patients not only survive but live without major disabilities. A minimally invasive procedure called a thrombectomy has been proven effective in treating severe stroke. There is hope, as long as we remember to call 911.”