New research has shown a significant increase in stroke rates among young people, in a study of 94,000 people in Oxfordshire.
A stroke is a major health problem that can have devastating consequences. It occurs when the blood supply to the brain is cut off, causing the death of brain cells and dysfunction in one or more parts of the brain. The restricted blood supply can be the result of an artery supplying blood to the brain being blocked, a blood vessel bursting causing bleeding inside the brain, or a short-term decrease in blood supply to the brain.
The findings from this new study, which analyzed the rate of new stroke cases in Oxfordshire over the past 20 years, reflect emerging evidence that young strokes are an increasing problem in low-income countries. high input.
The traditional view has been that vascular risk factors, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity, play a small role in childhood stroke, but recent studies have begun to contradict this. this point of view.
Thanks to a research fellowship from the Foundation, Dr Linxin Li from the University of Oxford is investigating the role of these treatable risk factors in childhood stroke.
Dr Li’s research focuses on a variety of strokes, such as ischemic strokes, caused by arterial blockages, ‘mini-strokes’ (transient ischemic attacks) and bleeding in the brain (intracerebral and subarachnoid hemorrhage).
This new study, led by researchers from the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neuroscience at the University of Oxford, is published in a recent issue of the magazine JAMA.
The researchers looked to see if stroke rates among the elderly and young had changed between 2002 and 2018, based on data from the Oxford Vascular Study, which included 94,567 practice registrants. GPs across Oxfordshire.
Incidence refers to the number of people who develop a particular disease or health-related event — in this case, a stroke — during a specific time period.
The researchers also took into account other factors, such as lifestyle, changes in diagnostic practice, control for traditional vascular risk factors, and sex-specific causes of stroke.
They found that from 2002-2010 to 2010-2018, the rate of stroke in young people (under 55 years old) increased by 67% and older people (55 years and older) decreased by 15%. A similar difference in incidence was not found for other vascular events, such as heart attacks.
Among young people who have had a stroke, there has been a significant increase in employment rates in more skilled occupations, particularly professional or managerial jobs. This may suggest a role for work-related stress, physical inactivity and long working hours, each of which is more strongly associated with stroke risk than heart attack.
The prevalence of traditional vascular risk factors in young adults with stroke is also high, underscoring the importance of identifying and managing these risk factors.
One bond paper in the current October issue of Neuroscience JAMAby the same authors, show similarly disparate trends in other high-income countries in the 21st century, with the incidence in older age declining at younger ages.
Fellow of the Medical Research Foundation, Dr Linxin Li from the University of Oxford, said: “Our study shows a worrying increase in the number of young strokes in Oxfordshire, reflecting a similar picture. in other high-income countries.”
“Identifying the importance of known risk factors in young stroke will help raise general awareness of the need for better control. We also need better ways to identify those children are at high risk of stroke, as current risk models are based on predictors of stroke in older adults.”
Dr Angela Hind, CEO of the Foundation for Medical Research, said: “In the past, we thought that stroke only affected older adults, but studies like this show a growing problem. increasing among young people.”
“Stroke in young people can have a huge impact, often occurring when they are newly married or have young children in their care and have not yet reached the peak of their careers. The consequences are economic, social and Individuals can be devastating. More research is needed to increase understanding of what causes stroke in children and how best to prevent it. This is why we are supporting the researchers like Dr. Li, who are pushing the boundaries of knowledge around childhood stroke.”
Linxin Li et al., Association of younger versus older individuals with changes in the incidence of stroke and other vascular events, 2002-2018, JAMA (In 2022). DOI: 10.1001 / jama.2022.12759
Provided by Medical Research Foundation
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