Due to Luke Perry’s sudden death, middle-age Americans have been burdened with both grief and confusion. The Beverly Hills 90210 star was just 52-years-old when he died of a massive stroke, a diagnosis that typically occurs in adults who are much older. Strokes are caused by a blockage of blood flow in the brain or by something that triggers bleeding in the brain. Typically, only one in seven million Americans under the age of 50 die from strokes every year, and nine per million die from a brain hemorrhage. This sudden tragedy has left people of all ages questioning their own health, which is why we researched the most common causes of a fatal stroke in both men and women.
Arterial dissection. This occurs when there is a tear in the lining of an artery, that causes a separation in the vessel wall. From there, a blood clot forms at the site and makes its way to the brain, blocking flow of blood to the brain tissue. A sudden movement of the neck, such as when riding a roller coaster or playing sports, can cause the tear.
Brain hemorrhage. This happens when a blood vessel expands and bursts in the brain. It can also occur when a weakened vessel has a leak.
Ischemic stroke. Known as the most common type of stroke, the ischemic stroke happens when one of the blood vessels that transports blood to your brain gets trapped. It can be caused by fatty deposits in the arteries breaking off and traveling to the brain, or when a blood clot is formed from poor blood flow due to an irregular heartbeat.
Mini stroke. Also known as a transient ischemic attack (TIA), the mini stroke is caused by a temporary blockage and it doesn’t result in permanent brain damage, however; it can lead to a full-scale stroke.
Luke Perry’s recent death has led many Americans of all ages questioning their own health. While the majority of strokes are known to occur in older adults, there has been a recent rise in stroke victims ages 18 to 65. Research has shown a 44% increase of young stroke victims over the past decade, particularly caused by blocked arteries. Much in the same way that people believed strokes only occurred in the elderly population, there was also a belief that strokes were a man’s disease. That myth has been debunked, as 55,000 more women have strokes every year.
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