It’s a worldwide health threat.
The probability of a person developing a stroke at some point during their remaining lifespan is seen at one in four globally on average, according to 2016 data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.
The lifetime stroke risk for 25-year-olds ranged from 8 percent to almost 39 percent for people in China where the risk is highest.
“We found extremely high lifetime risk for stroke ... it is clear that younger adults need to think about long-term health risks,” said Gregory Roth, a professor at the institute at the University of Washington and senior author of the study.
The study estimates lifetime stroke risk starting at age 25 for the first time, whereas previous studies begin at age 45.
Large geographical variations exist.
In 2016, in East Asia close to four in 10 people are at risk while in eastern sub-Saharan Africa the risk was closer to one in 10.
“The lower risk of lifetime stroke in sub-Saharan Africa does not necessarily represent a lower incidence of stroke or more effective prevention and treatment strategies,” Roth said. “On the contrary, people there are merely at higher risk of dying of another cause first.”
Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability, accounting for 10 percent of deaths globally in 2016. Patients who arrive at an emergency room within three hours of their first symptoms often have less disability three months after a stroke than those who received delayed care.