Stroke in the Young
It is a myth that strokes happen only among the elderly – children and young adults can also have strokes.
Update: Data collection for pediatric stroke patients is complete and analysis of this dataset is ongoing. Data collection for young adult stroke patients is near complete. Data collection for the controls in the case-control study is currently ongoing.
Stroke does happen most commonly in adults over the age of 50, therefore less is known about the causes of stroke in younger people. However, research has shown that heart disease may actually begin during childhood, increasing the risk of stroke later in life, and that black youths and adults suffer disproportionately from both. Unfortunately, even though we have made advances in preventing and treating strokes in older adults, the number of strokes in children and young adults has been increasing over the last 20 years, particularly among young African Americans.
Our Stroke in the Young research study will look at the number of strokes in children and young adults over 15 years among a large group of Kaiser Permanente Northern California members, and attempt to explain why the numbers are growing and identify the causes. We are particularly interested in how typical risk factors for stroke (high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, and smoking) are involved in stroke in the young, as well as why strokes happen more often in young African Americans.