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Strokes Striking More Boomers

A new study shows that more people being treated for strokes are under age 65.

More men and women under age 65 could be suffering strokes and not be getting enough follow-up care, according to a new nine-year study.

After tracking 7,740 people treated for stroke in a St. Louis hospital, researchers discovered that nearly half were under 65, and one in four was younger than 55. The findings differ dramatically from National Institutes of Health data, which suggest that three of every four strokes occur after age 65.

These younger patients often had mild or moderate strokes, so most were not given rehabilitation, according to the study. Although the study, published in the September/October American Journal of Occupational Therapy, tracked patients at only one hospital, study author Timothy Wolf of the Washington University School of Medicine says, “This could be a national trend.”

Ralph Sacco, M.D., incoming president of the American Heart Association, says current research generally shows not enough people get post-stroke rehab and younger victims are less likely to get rehab than older ones.

Sid Kirchheimer writes about consumer and health issues.

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