Younger adults are becoming more susceptible to strokes

May 15, 2023, 2:40 PM

A new release from Intermountain Healthcare shows that younger adults are becoming more susceptible...

The Intermountain Healthcare Kem C. Gardner Transformation Center in Murray is pictured on Friday, July 2, 2021. (Photo credit: Spenser Heaps/Deseret News)

(Photo credit: Spenser Heaps/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Typically it isn’t common to think of young adults being prone to having a stroke, but new data from Intermountain Healthcare is challenging that notion. 

An example is a 36-year-old man from North Ogden, Brad Coleman, who had a stroke last year on the way to his child’s soccer game. It was his wife, Melissa Coleman, that noticed something was wrong as the two drove to the game.  

Young stroke victim survives with quick, lifesaving treatment in northern Utah

KSL NewsRadio hosts Dave Noriega and Debbie Dujanovic spoke with Brad about his experience as well as with Dr. Melissa McDonald, with Intermountain Healthcare, about why strokes are becoming more common among young adults. 

Brad Coleman, young stroke victim 

Brad told KSL that, at first, he was in complete denial that a stroke was taking place. 

“I just started to slur my speech and I just remember getting kind of confused. Then the left side of my face started to droop pretty good and that was probably the symptom that tipped my wife off the most,” he said.

“Still I thought I was fine and just needed to lay down.” 

In the emergency room, Brad said a CT scan showed a blood clot in his head. Within 30 minutes of arriving at the hospital, he was back to normal. He agreed with Debbie that the timely manner in which he was treated must have contributed to the outcome. 

“From the moment that I had symptoms until they had the clot out of my head was only 90 minutes,” Brad said. 

But that wasn’t the end of the situation for Brad.  He told KSL that he didn’t anticipate some of the emotional damage the stroke caused. 

Those feelings led him to see a therapist because he feared the situation would happen again. He said that seeing that therapist helped him work through his fears. 

Dr. Melissa McDonald on strokes in young adults

Dr. Melissa McDonald with Intermountain Health said that more young people are exhibiting the risk factors that lead to strokes in older adults.  

“Things like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet,” McDonald said.

She added that some potential risk factors may be out of your control, such as heart abnormalities and clotting disorders. 

But one thing people can control is certain chiropractic adjustments.  

“There are probably other manipulations that are safer. But those particular ones of the rotation of the neck in a forceful-quick way can tear the vertebral arteries which supply the brain stem and the cerebellum and that can lead to a really bad stroke.” 

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Younger adults are becoming more susceptible to strokes