Long hours of work
Lack of exercise, smoking and sitting for long hours during regular 9am to 5pm jobs is a major risk factor for blood pressure and diabetes which in turn is responsible for making the young vulnerable to stroke.
According to Prof. R K Garg, HoD, neurology at King George’s Medical University (KGMU), “Stroke cases have gone up among people less than 45 years of age and a common reason is hypertension.”
“Professionals between 40 and 50 years of age are trying hard to push their career. With a lot of stress in the office, irregular food habits at home and lack of physical exercise, they become soft targets for hypertension and diabetes. Hypertension makes them vulnerable to stroke,” explained Prof. Garg.
Garg said that there are early warning signs that need to be taken seriously.
“These symptoms, one may think are temporary due to workload, but these are early warning signs,” said Prof. Garg.
“Signs of a stroke include sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body. Sudden confusion, trouble in speaking or understanding, sudden trouble seeing from one or both eyes, sudden trouble in walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or coordination, sudden severe headache with no known cause are early warning signals,” he said.
Prof. Kauser Usman, senior faculty member, department of medicine, KGMU, said that “Hypertension is becoming common among office going people, chasing deadlines.”
“Pregnant women too suffer with hypertension and gestational diabetes. This makes them vulnerable to stroke particularly to haemorrhagic stroke,” said Dr Amita Shukla, senior gynaecologist, SC Trivedi Memorial Trust hospital.
A stroke, often referred to as a “brain attack”, happens when blood flow to a part of the brain is interrupted. There are primarily three types of strokes, the first being ischemic stroke, which is most common, caused by a blocked artery from a blood clot. Here, blood is prevented from reaching part of the brain.
Secondly haemorrhagic stroke is caused by a ruptured blood vessel, leading to bleeding. High blood pressure and aneurysms can lead to this type of stroke.
Third type is transient ischemic attack also called a ‘mini stroke’. It is a temporary blockage of blood flow to the brain.