Young Adults Are Ignoring Stroke Symptoms

As a rule, young people seldom dwell on their mortality. To be young is to feel invincible. And that may be a problem.

A national survey from Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center found that people under age 45 very often underestimate the symptoms of a stroke and the urgency to seek medical help.

Investigators asked more than a thousand people across the United States what they would do within the first 3 hours of experiencing numbness, weakness, or difficulty speaking or seeing -- all common symptoms of a stroke. Only about 1 in 3 respondents under age 45 said they would be very likely to go to the hospital. A shocking 73 percent said they would instead be more likely to just wait to see if their symptoms improved.

And when it comes to a stroke, time is of the essence. Medical professionals refer to the first 3 hours after the onset of a stroke as the "golden window." People who get medical treatment within those first 3 hours stand a much better chance of living and avoiding permanent injury from a stroke than those who don't.

Soaring obesity and diabetes rates among younger Americans make stroke more likely for that age group than ever before. The survey authors conclude it's clear that medical professionalsneed to do a better job of making all patients aware of the signs of a stroke and the urgency to seek treatment before it's too late.

Sourced from: Live Science, Young Adults Ignore Stroke Symptoms That Could Save Their Lives (Op-Ed)