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Ischemic Strokes Rise Steeply with Age Even in Young

In group of patients, females outnumbered males under age 30; traditional risk factors common

FRIDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Modifiable risk factors for stroke, such as high cholesterol and hypertension, were common in a group of younger stroke patients, according to research published online Feb. 26 in the journal Stroke.

Jukka Putaala, M.D., of the Helsinki University Central Hospital in Finland, and colleagues analyzed data from 1,008 ischemic stroke patients aged 15 to 49 admitted to a single hospital over a recent 13-year period.

Stroke occurrence increased exponentially with age, the researchers report. Overall, patients were more often male (ratio 1.7 to 1), but under the age of 30, patients were more commonly female (56 percent versus 44 percent), the investigators found. Common risk factors included dyslipidemia (60 percent), smoking (44 percent) and hypertension (39 percent). Traditional stroke risk factors were more common in men and individuals over the age of 44, the authors note.

"Our findings contribute to the understanding of the spectrum of risk factors, mechanisms, and imaging features in young brain infarct patients. Traditional stroke risk factors were common in this patient population, but in the young a meticulous search for each patient's all potential risk factors is crucial for appropriate secondary prevention. These data suggest that the evolution of etiology takes place mainly because of accumulation of vascular risk factors along aging," Putaala and colleagues write.

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