Stroke in Young Adults Becoming More Common

Richard Libman, MD

Stroke may be affecting people at a younger age, according to a recent study published in the journal Neurology. This is not the first study to suggest this unsettling trend and other research has found similar results.

The first question to ask is whether stroke in young people only appears to be more common because of improved diagnosis. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been more widely used for stroke diagnosis, and MRIs are much more sensitive than computed tomography (CT) scans to detect small strokes. So some of the increase in diagnosis of stroke in young people may be due to improved technology and not a true increase in incidence.

Still, stroke is often diagnosed by the judgment of a physician, not necessarily by the type of scan. So increased use of MRI may not fully explain the trend.

The most widely accepted explanation, although unproven, is the rise in obesity in children. One of the main complications of obesity is diabetes. Obesity itself is a risk factor for stroke, and diabetes is an extremely strong stroke risk factor. The rise in obesity and diabetes among children may set the stage for stroke in young adulthood.

This possibility is quite alarming, and should serve as a wake-up call to healthcare practitioners. We need to address children obesity sooner rather than later. Full Post - to Detail View

Simple Steps for New Diabetes Patients

Loriann Lomnicki Gross

If you’ve been recently diagnosed with diabetes, you may feel overwhelmed by all there is to learn about caring for yourself. But if you follow these simple steps, you’ll be headed in the right direction:

  • Get informed about the type of diabetes that you have. Ask questions at your medical appointments. Keep notes so you don’t forget.
  • If you are prescribed medicine, know what you are taking. Learn the basics of how it works and any side effects you might expect. Your pharmacist can be a great reference.
  • If hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is a possibility, be sure that you, your family and friends can recognize the symptoms. Eat regularly and carry a healthy snack with you just in case.
  • If your healthcare provider wants you to monitor your blood glucose levels, test regularly and keep a log of results. Bring your log to all appointments so your healthcare team can see how your treatment plan is working.
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Diabetes: Are You at Risk?

Tracy Breen, MD

November is American Diabetes Awareness Month and over the next several weeks, North Shore-LIJ diabetes specialists will be sharing their expertise with readers.

The US is experiencing a diabetes epidemic that affects about 26 million adults. And the numbers are growing: almost 40 percent of adults in the US already suffer from “pre-diabetes.” People with pre-diabetes have a high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes unless they make major lifestyle changes--particularly regarding exercise and weight management.

Diabetes can be costly and debilitating. Its complications include heart attacks, strokes, vascular problems, blindness, kidney failure and nerve damage. Keeping diabetes under control can help reduce the risk these complications, but the most effective way to prevent diabetes complications is to prevent diabetes in the first place.

A simple blood test, known as a Hemoglobin A1c (or simply A1c), screens for diabetes and pre-diabetes.

The following people should be screened every year with an A1c test:

  • All adults over 45
  • All adults with hypertension (high blood pressure)
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