Strokes are more common among older people, but researchers are finding that the stroke age is growing younger. At the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Brett Kissela looked at data on first strokes in the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area from July 1993 to June 1994, and in 1999 and 2005. Kissela says younger people are driving down the average:

“The average age of stroke declined just a little bit, but there were indeed higher rates of strokes in the youngest age groups, and that means people under age 55.”

The study did not examine causes, but Kissela says risk factors for stroke – including diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol – are showing up in the younger people.

The study in the journal Neurology was supported by the National Institutes of Health.