5 Things The Black Man Should Know About Stroke Risks

Veteran comedian Sinbad is still learning to walk two years after suffering a stroke, according to his family. They also released photos on Instagram of the 66-year-old star receiving physical therapy.

A stroke occurs when blood that brings oxygen to your brain stops flowing and brain cells die. On average, someone in the U.S. has a stroke every 40 seconds, according to Stroke.org.

Sinbad’s family said in a statement that he’s still “fighting for every inch” as his limbs — that were once said to be “dead” — are resuming mobility, which is particularly important as he begins walking again. 

Born David Adkins, Sinbad gained fame in the 1990s with his HBO stand-up specials and work on sitcoms such as “A Different World” and his “The Sinbad Show.”  He also starred in films including  “Houseguest,” “First Kid” and the Christmas comedy “Jingle All the Way.”

Two years ago, Sinbad suffered an ischemic stroke as a result of a blood clot that traveled from his heart to his brain. The medical emergency kept him in the hospital for nine months and was released in July 2021, Page Six reported. 

“Survival odds from this type of event are approximately 30 percent,” his family wrote. “Sinbad has already beaten the odds and has made significant progress beyond what anyone expected, but there are still miles to go.”

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Sinbad is not alone. Black Americans are more likely to suffer from strokes. Black men are particularly in higher danger for strokes.

Here are five things to know

1. Stroke risks and racial disparities

Cardiovascular health is “one of the starkest illustrations of the racial disparities in health outcomes” in the U.S., reported Everyday Health. Heart disease and stroke are two of the leading causes of death among Americans, and Black Americans are subject to far worse outcomes, according to the American Heart Association (AHA).

2. Stroke data

Black patients were 4 percent more likely than white patients to die within 10 years of having a stroke, Everyday Health reported. Black patients who died also tended to be younger and were more often women.

Black Americans are 50 percent more likely to have a stroke than white Americans, and Black women are 70 percent more likely than white women to die of a stroke. African Americans are 50 percent more likely to have a stroke (cerebrovascular disease), as compared to their white adult counterparts.

3. Black men and stroke risk

Black men are 70 percent more likely to die from a stroke as compared to non-Hispanic whites, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health.

4. Stroke risk for young Blacks

Black young adults are almost four times more likely than their white counterparts to have a stroke, according to research published in American Heart Association journal Hypertension.

5. Factors that decrease chance of a stroke

There are factors that should be considered to decrease the risk for having a stroke: Decrease salt intake; keep blood pressure under control; do not smoke; stay in good physical shape; eat fruits and vegetables daily; keep “sugar” under control; drink alcohol in moderation; keep cholesterol normal; no drug use, according to the Closing the Gap in Healthcare organization.

Photos of Sinbad released by his family (Instagram, @sinbadbad)

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