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Are young adults in denial about how lifestyle choices affect their health?


Stroke hospitalizations among men and women ages 15 to 44 have increased notably in the past decade. Now findings from a new survey suggest the rise in stroke among young people could be because they are dangerously naive about how lifestyle choices influence disease risk.

In a survey conducted by the American Stroke Association, 1,248 Americans ages 18-44 were asked about their attitudes regarding health, including influences of and beliefs about health behaviors and their risks for stroke. Results showed nine out of 10 respondents between ages 18-24 believed they make healthy choices yet most consumed too much fast food, drank alcoholic or sugar-sweetened beverages and engaged in other behaviors that could increase their risk of stroke, according to a release.

Other findings included:

  • Among 35-44 year olds, only 22 percent said they were not concerned about cardiovascular diseases and conditions, including heart disease/heart attack; high blood pressure; obesity; high cholesterol; diabetes; and stroke. Yet, about half (48 percent) of them are more likely to have health concerns they struggle with today.
  • Most 18-24 year olds said they want to live long and maintain quality health throughout their life. Yet, one-third of those surveyed don’t believe engaging in healthy behaviors now could affect their risk of stroke in the future.
  • All groups said that they’re least worried about stroke as a personal health threat.

Previously: Stroke Awareness Month begins today. What's your risk?
Photo by Ernesto Andrade

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