Campus nurse and students talk healthy diets as stroke rates rise in youth

The stroke rate is rising among young adults, even higher than that of people of advanced age, according to an article from the Sacramento Bee.

Statistics show that strokes are declining by more than 25 percent for people older than 45, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

However, from 1994 through 2007 it is shown that the rate of ischemic stroke went up by 47 percent for men ages 33 to 44 and 37 percent for women of the same age. For men in their early 20’s it boosted up to more than 50 percent.

The causes of the ischemic stroke, the most common kind of stroke, all point to the same causes such as high cholesterol and blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.

“High blood pressure increases your chances of not only a stroke but a heart attack, kidney disease and other life-threatening illnesses,” said Fran Koschesk, a nurse at Cosumnes River College. “Anyone can get it.”

Koschesk said that the pill can also cause strokes.

“Taking birth control pills will increase their risks of a stroke. The hormones are affected and can cause blood clots, but it is rare,” said Koschesk.

Ischemic strokes account for almost 87 percent of 795,000 strokes that Americans suffer each year, according to the CDC.

According to the American Stroke Association, stroke is the number four leading cause of death in the United States, killing nearly 129,000 people per year with someone dying every four minutes.

“People should change their diets,” said Kathy Mendoza, 22, a history major. “It [strokes] can happen to anyone.”

Mendoza said she recommends students go vegan to help prevent such health problems.

While research has found out what causes stroke, students may not have the time to reduce the chances of having it.

“I feel kind of sad that younger people are getting it, but most of it is on how we eat,” said Kimberly Vang, 18, an undeclared major.

“We are tight on schedule so we wouldn’t have the time to exercise,” she said.

While the numbers seem very high and alarming, there are other factors that play into obesity and other illnesses that could lead to a stroke.

“Expansion of fast food and the low cost of junk food” seems to be a huge factor, said Alan Vu, 21, a health major.

Koschesk suggests students have a healthy diet, drink water, get plenty of sleep, avoid drinking alcohol and smoking because the problem that causes stroke comes from the common problems of obesity and high blood pressure

Vu echoed Koschesk’s suggestions, and said a balanced diet is important to keep students healthy.

“It is almost impossible to stay away from junk food, but at least balance it out with fruits and vegetables,” Vu said.