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Med Sci Monit. 2004 Sep;10(9):CR535-41. Epub 2004 Aug 20.

Stroke in young adults: a study from a university hospital in north India.

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Department of Neurology, G.B. Pant Hospital, New Delhi 110002, India.



Stroke is one of the foremost cause of morbidity and mortality, and poses a major socioeconomic problem in young patients, especially in developing countries.


The present study was conducted in order to analyze the clinical characteristics, stroke types and etiology of stroke in young persons.


Stroke in young patients accounted for 13.5% (127/940) of all cerebrovascular accident (CVA) cases admitted to the Department of Neurology between 1988 and 1997. Ischemic stroke accounted for 85.8% of the young patients of young stroke, while 14.2% had spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). In cases of cerebral infarction, 29.4% of these patients (32/109) had cardioembolic stroke, followed by atherosclerotic occlusive disease in 22% (24/109), and nonatherosclerotic vascular disease in 15.6% (17/109) of patients. 13 patients had a metabolic etiology, while the cause was undetermined in 11 cases (10.09%). 17.3% of the young patients (22/127) had no risk factors, while 27.55% (35/127) had multiple risk factors.


The major risk factors for stroke in our young patients were hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, hypertriglyceridemia and smoking. Oral contraceptives, alcohol and illicit drug use were infrequent risk factors, in contrast to Western studies. Cardioembolic stroke and atherosclerotic occlusive disease were the most common cause of ischemic stroke.

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