Irish Heart Foundation

Strike Before Stroke

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Working age stroke rates?

There’s a myth that strokes only happen to ‘old people’. This isn’t true. In fact people of working age account for one in four of all strokes in Ireland each year.

That means people raising families, people with dependents, people like you. The good news is that 80% of premature strokes can be prevented through lifestyle changes. Also, what seems ‘old’ when you’re in your 20s, doesn’t seem so old when you’re in your 40s!

Research reveals the proportion of strokes among people of working age in Ireland soared by over 300 more strokes a year. This younger age group is now accounting for 1 in 4 of all strokes in Ireland. In particular, men account for more than two thirds of these younger stroke cases in working age.

Our research also showed that 4 in 10 younger stroke sufferers are smokers and the rate of people already diagnosed with high blood pressure was also worryingly high. In the UK, similar results have also shown that unhealthy lifestyles and physical inactivity contributed to stroke risk at a younger age.