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Stroke Research and Treatment
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 209370, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.4061/2011/209370
Review Article

Epidemiology and Etiology of Young Stroke

1Department of Neurology, Gosford Hospital, P.O. Box 361, Gosford, NSW 2250, Australia
2Department of Medicine, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia

Received 16 September 2010; Revised 12 December 2010; Accepted 27 March 2011

Academic Editor: Janika Kõrv

Copyright © 2011 Dayna Griffiths and Jonathan Sturm. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Introduction. Stroke in people under 45 years of age is less frequent than in older populations but has a major impact on the individual and society. In this article we provide an overview of the epidemiology and etiology of young stroke. Methods. This paper is based on a review of population-based studies on stroke incidence that have included subgroup analyses for patients under 45 years of age, as well as smaller community-based studies and case-series specifically examining the incidence of stroke in the young. Trends are discussed along with the relative frequencies of various etiologies. Discussion. Stroke in the young requires a different approach to investigation and management than stroke in the elderly given differences in the relative frequencies of possible underlying causes. It remains the case, however, that atherosclerosis contributes to a large proportion of stroke in young patients, thus, conventional risk factors must be targeted aggressively.