Strokes in Young People

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Strokes in young people Introduction Strokes in young adults are relatively uncommon usually occuring in the middle-aged and elderly. The National Survey of Stroke revealed that only 3.7% of all strokes occurred in patients aged 15-45 years (Bevan et al., 1990, 382). In 1990, Bevan et al. (1990) reviewed the medical records of 113 young patients aged 15-45 years who were admitted to the Medical Center Hospital of Vermont with a diagnosis of stroke between 1982 and 1987. This group comprised 8.5% of patients of all ages admitted for stroke. Nontraumatic intracerebral hemorrhage was diagnosed in 46 young patients (41%); the main causes included aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations, hypertension, and tumors. Subarachnoid hemorrhage was found in 19 young patients (17%); the majority was due to aneurysms. The remaining 48 young patients (42%) had cerebral infarction, primarily due to cardiogenic emboli and premature atherosclerosis. Other infrequent causes were Mitral valve prolapse (MVP), oral contraceptives, alcohol drinking, and migraine. When comparing this sample to that of the National Survey of Stroke, researchers found that the case-fatality rate for this group of young patients with stroke was 20.4% compared with 23.9% for the National Survey of Stroke. They concluded that young adults with stroke deserve an extensive but tailored evaluation, which should include angiography and echocardiography (Bevan et al, 1990, 382- 386). Other studies too have shown
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