Child Obesity Leading to Early Strokes

Strokes are normally something that is thought of as striking the elderly. However, like heart attacks, they have been known to strike those who are younger. In fact, there is evidence that strokes are becoming more common among younger populations.

43-year-old Troy Hodge of Carrol County, Md likes to call himself ‘new stroke.’ Two years ago, the man’s brain ceased communicating with the left side of his body for a time.

He had been getting ready to go to his job as food service director for a nearby nursing home. He went into his downstairs bathroom to take his blood pressure medication. He sat down on the bathroom floor and found himself unable to get back up. He remembers feeling so hot that he splashed toilet water on his face because he couldn’t reach the sink.

Thankfully, a concerned colleague came by when he didn’t show up for work. She called 911 when she found him on the floor.

Hodge woke up a day or so later at a trauma center a state over in Delaware.

Hodge had suffered what is known as an intracerebral hemorrhage. Basically, this means bleeding within the substance of the brain. It is presumed that his high blood pressure was the cause of the stroke.

About 10% of strokes occur within people of 18 to 50 years old. Risk factors for stroke include high blood pressure, overweight, diabetes, and smoking.

Statistics are showing an increasing number of people under 50 suffering from ischemic strokes. Ischemic strokes are caused by a blockage in a blood vessel rather than a bleed. Though it is not to say that stroke is becoming a disease of younger people. The great majority still occur in older individuals. However, strokes among the younger population is on the rise.

One of the most underlying causes of this trend is obesity. Obesity comes with an array of associated health problems that contribute to the chances of stroke: high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

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