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

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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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