Think you or a loved one is too young to worry about stroke? A new study reports that stroke is increasingly becoming a concern for the middle-aged, while actually declining in incidence among older adults. The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Stroke study, published in Neurology, analyzed data on about 1.3 million people over more than a decade. The incidence of first stroke among people ages 20 to 54 jumped sharply between 1993-1994 and 2005. On the other hand, stroke rates dropped among whites age 55 and up and blacks age 65 and older. Scientists cited increases in stroke risk factors including hypertension and smoking among younger patients.

Warning signs of stroke and what to do:

Face drooping–Does one side of the face droop or is it numb?

Arm weakness–Is one arm weak or numb?

Speech difficulty–Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Can he or she repeat a simple sentence?

Time to call 911–if the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 911 immediately

Source: Tufts University  Health & Nutrition Letter  2014