Strokes increasingly affect young adults ages 25-44

Although most people believe that strokes only happen to the elderly, a new feature from Kaiser Health News follows the story of a young woman in her 30s who suffered a stroke and explores the condition as it increasingly continues to affect young adults.

Jamie Hancock, who has two children, had a stroke in 2010 when she was 32 and has since lived a life much different than her one before it.

Now 38, Hancock has trouble with her memory, is sensitive to light and doesn’t the energy to maintain a job and household. But she isn’t alone. According to research from the American Heart Association, between 2000 and 2010, strokes for those between 25 to 44 have increased 44 percent, from 16 to 23 per 100,000.

Many factors contribute to why a young person might have a stroke, but obesity, substance use and unhealthy eating habits can significantly increase the likelihood.

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