A growing number of young people are at risk of having strokes, a charity has revealed.
The number of strokes suffered by men and women aged between 40 and 54, living in Sussex, Surrey and Kent has increased 16 per cent in seven years, according to a study by the Stroke Association.
There were 660 hospital admissions for stroke among people aged between 40 and 54 in the south, with the figure increasing to 763 in 2014.
The charity’s research shows the number of women aged 40-54 admitted to hospital in the south has increased by 23 per cent, from 273 in 2007 to 335 in 2014.
There are around 3,670 strokes in Sussex each year and 33,000 people in East Sussex and West Sussex are living with the effects of stroke.
In England in 2014 there were 6,221 hospital admissions for men aged 40-54 – a rise of 1,961 in 14 years.
There is an alarming increase in the numbers of people having a stroke in working age.Sandra Field, Stroke Association
Sandra Field, regional head of operations for the Stroke Association South East Coast, said: “These figures show that stroke can no longer be seen as a disease of older people.
“There is an alarming increase in the numbers of people having a stroke in working age.
“This comes at a huge cost, not only to the individual, but also to their families and to health and social care services.”
Strokes are caused by blood clots or bleeds to the brain and can lead to long-lasting disability.
Experts said growing obesity levels, sedentary lives and unhealthy diets – which raise the risks of dangerous blood clots, were partly to blame for the rise, though the growing population played a part.
The report also suggests recovering patients find it difficult to return to work and called for more support from employers.
Sandra added: “Having a stroke is bad enough, but being written off by your employer through a lack of understanding can be catastrophic. Businesses play a crucial role in helping stroke survivors get back into the workplace and on the road to recovery. That’s why we’re calling on employers to be aware of the physical and emotional impact of stroke.”
Find out more at www.stroke.org.uk