Number of middle-aged stroke victims doubles: Charity
The number of middle-aged men in Northern Ireland having strokes has more than doubled in less than 12 years, according to the Stroke Association.
An analysis of NHS data by the charity revealed that in 2002, there were over 123 hospital admissions for stroke among men aged between 40 and 54 here.
This figure rocketed to 252 in 2014 - an increase of 105%. It is thought that the rise is due to increasing sedentary and unhealthy lifestyles, and changes in hospital admission practice.
The charity's research to mark Action on Stroke Month 2015 shows the number of women aged 40-54 admitted to hospital after a stroke in the last 12 years also soared - from 100 in 2002 to 179 in 2014 - a dramatic rise of 79%.
Overall, the number of strokes occurring in people of working age (20-64) in Northern Ireland has shot up by 93% since 2002.
There are over 4,400 strokes each year in Northern Ireland, and half of all stroke survivors are left with a disability.
Tom Richardson, Northern Ireland Director of the Stroke Association, said: "These figures show that stroke can no longer be seen as a disease of older people."