Ischaemic stroke in young adults: a global perspective

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2020 Apr;91(4):411-417. doi: 10.1136/jnnp-2019-322424. Epub 2020 Feb 3.


Ischaemic stroke at young age is an increasing problem in both developing and developed countries due to rising incidence, high morbidity and mortality and long-term psychological, physical and social consequences. Compared with stroke in older adults, stroke in young adults is more heterogeneous due to the wide variety of possible underlying risk factors and aetiologies. In this review, we will provide an overview of the global variation in the epidemiology of stroke in young adults, with special attention to differences in geography, ethnicity/race and sex, as well as traditional and novel risk factors for early-onset ischaemic stroke, such as air pollution. Understanding global differences is an important prerequisite for better region-specific prevention and treatment of this devastating condition.

Keywords: clinical neurology; epidemiology; stroke.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Brain Ischemia / epidemiology*
  • Brain Ischemia / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke / epidemiology*
  • Stroke / etiology
  • Young Adult