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Drug, Alcohol Abuse Linked to Early-Life Strokes

Friday, November 30th, 2012

wheelchair black and whiteA U.S. study shows that drug and alcohol abuse is tied to strokes in young people. Researchers from the University of Cincinnati studied 1,000 people who had a stroke before age 55, reviewing their medical charts for records of substance abuse. Researchers found that over half of the young stroke-sufferers were smokers, and one in five used illicit drugs, including marijuana and cocaine. Thirteen percent of people used drugs or alcohol within 24 hours of the stroke.

According to one 2007 study, people between the ages of 18 and 44 comprised only 5 percent of the people who had suffered a stroke. Since strokes among young people are so uncommon, they are more likely to be caused by nontraditional risk factors like substance abuse. Drug abuse and heavy drinking can cause changes in the heart, arteries and blood that may put younger people at a higher risk for stroke. Some drugs, like cocaine and methamphetamines, may even trigger a stroke immediately.

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Source: Reuters Drug, alcohol abuse tied to early-life strokes

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