Young man relaxing at home to illustrate that stroke can occur at any age


Too young to have a stroke? Think again

Stroke is commonly thought to only strike someone your grandfather's age, but anyone–at any age–can have a stroke. Studies now indicate that the incidence of stroke in adults ages 35 to 55 is on the rise.

We don't know for certain why that is, but one reason may be an increase in risk factors in our younger population, resulting in an increase in early stroke. These risk factors affect anyone, no matter their age: those with uncontrolled high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol, and those who are obese, use tobacco, or abuse drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines.  

Take control of your stroke risk. Get checked and get help. 

  • Have your provider check your cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugars. If you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes, your provider can help you control it.
  • Manage your weight, and get regular exercise.
  • If you smoke or use other tobacco products, quit.

Signs of stroke

Use the acronym F.A.S.T. to identify signs of stroke: 

  • F – Facial weakness
  • A – Arm weakness (and/or leg weakness)
  • S – Speech difficulty
  • T – Time to call 911

Other symptoms may include sudden numbness of one side of the body (face, arm, and/or leg), sudden confusion, sudden vision problems, sudden difficulty walking or coordination, and sudden severe headache with no known cause.

Call 911 immediately if you suspect you or someone you know is having a stroke. There are a number of effective treatments for stroke, but they are most effective in the first few hours after symptoms start, so don't wait to call 911.

Up to 80 percent of strokes are preventable

There are some stroke risk factors we can't control, such as our gender, age, race or family history, but it's important to know that it's possible to reverse the negative effects of many risk factors. No tobacco use and healthy lifestyle changes in diet and exercise can dramatically decrease your risk of having a stroke.


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