Background and purpose: In this retrospective study, we sought to investigate the distribution of risk factors, etiology, localization and etiologic classification of cerebral infarctions in young adults aged 15-49, to find if there were any tendency towards association between these, and especially to find if there was an association between localization and other factors.
Methods: Data about age, gender, lab, diagnostic tests, and other investigations were viewed retrospectively and abstracted from the journals of 53 patients that met the inclusion criteria. The project was approved by the privacy administrator (personvernombudet) at Ahus. Etiology was classified according to TOAST. Simple analyses were carried out in SPSS and Excel.
Results: We found a male predominance in overall incidence, and a high prevalence of traditional risk factors (smoking 50,9%, hyperlipidemia/hypertriglyceridemia 37,8%, obestiy 22,6% and migraine 20,7%). 17% of all patients had infarction affecting MCA, and these patients were more often found to have atherosclerosis of large arteries, cardioembolic or other undetermined etiology. 48,8% of all cerebral infarctions were located in the left hemisphere, while 34,9% were located in the right. A high proportion of patients had signs of subcortical lesions (75,7%), and 28,3% of all strokes were classified as small vessel disease. Conclusions: Althought we have not shown any stastistical significant associations, it seems to be a higher prevalence of strokes with small vessel disease in young adults than previously shown. This could indicate a somewhat more similar pattern of stroke etiology between adults 15-49 and the older part of the population than previously expected.