Stroke in young adults and children
- Cite this article as:
- Bendixen, B.H., Posner, J. & Lango, R. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep (2001) 1: 54. doi:10.1007/s11910-001-0077-8
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Data from studies of 337 children and 1606 young adults are summarized to identify the major causes of stroke in these age groups. In children under 15 years of age, stroke occurs in patients with congenital heart disease, nonatherosclerotic vasculopathies, infection, and hematologic defects like sickle cell disease. In patients 15 to 35 years of age, dissection, cardioembolism, nonatheroslerotic vasculopathies, and prothrombotic states cause a significant percentage of strokes. In adults over 35 years of age, traditional atherosclerotic risk factors predominate. Lifestyle choices (eg, cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, and illicit drug use) can significantly increase the rate of stroke among young adults in a community. Limited access to healthcare may increase the role of infectious disease and peripartum complications.