The mounting obesity epidemic in the United States has contributed to an increase in the number of strokes occurring among younger Americans. New research has revealed that the average age of patients suffering a first stroke in the greater Cincinnati area has dropped by almost three years between 1993 and 2005. The findings of the analysis were recently presented at the American Stroke Association conference in San Antonio.
Brett Kissela, M.D., of the University of Cincinnati Neuroscience Institute set out to determine why many of the stroke patients seen in the neurology department of the hospital were not much older than the age of 50. Kissela and his colleagues analyzed data from 17 hospitals in the Cincinnati metropolitan area spanning two counties in Ohio and three in northern Kentucky, which provided a nationally representative population of approximately 1.3 million people. They discovered that the average age of stroke victims had decreased from 71.3 in 1993 to 68.4 by the end of 2005.