We are continuing our discussion of stroke and a growing concern in the medical community that teens and young adults are more vulnerable now than they had been in the past. The human cost is different for younger Americans: Less likely to die from the effects of a stroke, teens and young adults tend to suffer long-term disabilities that sap the energy and financial resources of their families.
In Wisconsin, the stroke rate of 104 (out of every 100,000 adults) exceeds the U.S. rate of 98. Milwaukee's rate is in the 104 range, but there are areas in the state with rates in the 110 - 125 range. The state isn't quite at the level of the states in the "stroke belt" -- the southeastern states -- but it's up there.
Alan Olson writes this web-log to provide helpful information regarding long-term disability cases. He practices long-term disability law throughout the United States from his offices in New Berlin, Wisconsin. Attorney Olson may be contacted at [email protected] with questions about the information posted here or for advice on specific disability benefit claims.
The question, of course, is "Why?" Why are these states' populations more at risk?
According to the National Stroke Association, there are two categories of risk factors: controllable and uncontrollable. The uncontrollable factors are just as you'd expect -- age (older people are at greater risk), race (African Americans are at greater risk), gender (women are more likely to have a stroke than men), and already having suffered a stroke.
The controllable factors break into two sub-categories: lifestyle and medical. If you watch television or have an annual check-up, you'll be more than familiar with the lifestyle factors -- smoking (or chewing) tobacco, drinking alcohol, being obese and not exercising are the most common.
Medical risk factors include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and circulation problems. Addressing these conditions medically or holistically can decrease the risk of stroke.
Heart disease experts say that the best way to address both categories of risk factors is education. The hope is that people who fully understand the effects of a stroke and the burdens that go with long-term disabilities will alter their behavior. While the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends more research, the entire health care community is behind the education and behavior modification effort.
Source: ReporterNews.com, "More young people hospitalized for stroke," Kimberly Gray, Nov. 13, 2011