Young Americans Do Not Consider Stroke Health Threat

Most young Americans want to live to old age but don't believe in adopting healthy behaviors now

MONDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- Most young Americans believe their current health behaviors will not affect their future risks of stroke and cardiovascular diseases, according to results of a survey released on May 2 by the American Stroke Association.

Researchers from the American Stroke Association conducted a survey of 1,248 Americans aged 18 to 44 years to find out about their beliefs and attitudes regarding health behaviors, influences of health behaviors, and their risks for stroke.

The results of the survey indicate that no age group considered stroke as a personal health threat. Most 18 to 24 year olds wanted to maintain quality health and live to age 98, yet one-third did not believe their current health behaviors could affect their future stroke risk, 43 percent were least concerned about cardiovascular disease, and 18 percent could not identify any stroke risk factors. Among 25 to 44 year olds, 80 percent believed they had a healthy life style, and they wanted to live to an average of 91 years. Compared to 18 to 24 year olds, they were more likely to engage in healthy behaviors and had a better chance of achieving their goals if they continued to live healthily. However, 36 percent were unconcerned about cardiovascular diseases. For 35 to 44 year olds, 22 percent were not concerned about cardiovascular diseases, but 48 percent of them were more likely to have current health concerns.

"This survey shows the dangerous disconnect that many young Americans have about how their behaviors affect their risks for stroke and other cardiovascular diseases," said Ralph Sacco, M.D., president of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

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