We think of stroke as something that happens to older people. But every year, about 70,000 Americans under age 45 have strokes.
“About 10 to 15 percent of strokes occur in children and adults under age 45, and that number is rising,” says David Tong, M.D., medical director of the Stroke Care Center at California Pacific Medical Center.
There are two types of stroke: ischemic and hemorrhagic. The biggest increase is being seen in ischemic strokes that result from artery-blocking blood clots that travel to the brain. Ischemic strokes are the most common type of stroke. Hemorrhagic strokes, which happen when a blood vessel in or near the brain ruptures, are far less common.