Actor Luke Perry’s death highlights stroke in younger men

Local News

Stroke is one of the leading causes of deaths in men, and it’s happening to men at earlier ages.

One out of every 20 deaths is stroke related. Actor Luke Perry’s death on Monday is highlighting the wide-reach of stroke, especially for younger men.

“I would believe a stroke was for someone that was 60, 70, 80 years old. Not 50 or 55,” said Bryan Smith, who suffered a stroke at the age of 54.

Strokes happen when blood flow to the brain gets blocked. When there’s a lack of blood and oxygen, that’s when a stroke occurs.

“I think you find sometimes with men they might not take such good care of themselves. They might be a little less likely to go to the doctor, maybe a little more likely to ignore symptoms,” said Albany’s American Stroke Association Communications Director Kathy McCarthy. “Please learn F.A.S.T. Face drooping, Arm weakness, Slurred speech, Time to call 9-1-1.”

Albany Medical Center sees 1,200 stroke cases a year.

“Awareness is probably the most important thing. It is common, but it is preventable,” said neurologist Colum Amory.

Amory said some of the highest rates of strokes are in the southeastern part of the United States. But he also says parts of the North Country have rates just as high.

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