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Strokes don't discriminate: not by race, not by gender, and not by age

Posted at 5:52 PM, Mar 04, 2019

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Fans of 90s heartthrob Luke Perry are mourning his death today.

Many were shocked to learn that he was killed by a stroke at age 52.

But, doctors are reminding people today that stoke does not discriminate.

Not by gender, race, or even age.

Infants and teens have been affected by stroke and Dr. Elad Levy who 7 Eyewitness News spoke with for this report says even so, it is important to note that the older you get, the more at risk you are for stroke.

Many don’t know until they are actually stroking.

But there are some signs you could pay attention to: if you start to feel tingling in your arms, speech trouble, facial drooping, or issues with consciousness — that all means you need to get to a hospital right away.

“Many causes of stroke are preventable,” said Dr. Levy. “Most of the causes of stroke are preventable, unfortunately, not all…but the vast majority are.”

50% of strokes are caused by problems with the heart, where there is a blockage and it travels up…and the other 50% happen from the neck up - a carotid artery blockage that travels up to the brain, causing damage and death.

Family history plays a big role in the potential to stroke, as well.

Diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol can all be precursors to a stroke.

But, there are a number of controllable factors, as well…thinks like living a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, smoking, stress, and uncontrolled weight can all be things that you and your doctor can discuss to help prevent your chances of having a stroke.

Dr. Elad Levy is the chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo. He is also the medical director of Neuroendovascular Services at Gates Vascular Institute and Co-Director of Gates Stroke Center at Kaleida Health.