When you think of strokes, you think of older individuals not someone, say in their 30s or 40s. Yet younger people are having more strokes. Why?

The rates of obesity, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and diabetes are unfortunately becoming more common among patients 20 to 65. Obesity is itself a risk factor not only for strokes but also for cancer, heart attacks, diabetes and elevated cholesterol. With about 2/3 of Americans overweight, this is a major problem.

A recent study noted that teenagers exercise less often than 60 year olds. Hard to believe, but unfortunately true. With video games and a host of other internet attractions, exercise seems less important than surfing the web.

If you are young, you are less likely to be insured and also less likely to see a doctor for regular medical checkups. After all, you think why bother? It costs a fortune and I’m feeling great. No news is good news.

Unfortunately, conditions which can be deadly are too often missed without regular physicals. These include high blood pressure, diabetes and elevated blood pressure.

The solution to lowering the stroke rate among younger Americans is to reduce the risk factors. This means more exercise, better eating habits and of course regular checkups.