Why Are 50-Somethings — From John Singleton to Luke Perry — Dying from Strokes, and What Preventive

No one likes to think about serious and life-ending medical issues like strokes, but the fact is that strokes are the third leading cause of death in the United States, and a full 25% of those who have a stroke are under the age of 65.

This point was driven home in recent months by the highly publicized deaths of Hollywood icons John Singleton and Luke Perry, who succumbed to strokes at the tender ages of 51 and 52, respectively. The fact is that strokes are a clear and present danger for people as young as 50, but thankfully there are steps we can take to reduce your chances of having a stroke.

Here at The Pazio Institute, under the guidance of board-certified physician Alexander Paziotopoulos, our goal is to provide our patients with the preventive tools they need to lead happy, healthy lives long into the future. And when it comes to cardiovascular disease, we take this goal very seriously, as should you.

Here’s a look at why 50-somethings aren’t immune to strokes, and more importantly, what we can do about it.

A stroke for all ages

Most strokes occur when a blockage or clot prevents oxygen-rich blood from reaching your brain, although some occur when a blood vessel hemorrhages in your brain. And there are many reasons why this can happen, most of which boil down to your cardiovascular health.

For example, to give you an idea of the wide range of factors that can contribute to plaque buildup in your blood vessels that leads to a stroke, here’s a sample of the primary culprits:

As you can see by this list, there are plenty of risk factors that are beyond your control, but equally as many that are well within our control to change.

How can I find out my stroke risk?

Strokes often come on suddenly, which make them very hard to treat. But they’re also very difficult to predict. Traditionally, doctors have weighed your risk factors and run tests on your cholesterol and plaque, which provide some clues as to your risk, but they aren’t quite predictive.

At our practice, we offer the PULS™ cardiac test, which goes beyond traditional tests to measure your risk for stroke. The PULS cardiac test is a breakthrough blood test in which we analyze the biological processes that indicate an unstable cardiac lesion.

To do this, we measure the proteins related to:

The results of this analysis can help us identify unstable cardiac lesions that are likely to rupture.

Preventing a stroke

Once we’ve evaluated your cardiovascular disease risk using our innovative PULS test, we can come up with a plan that helps reverse some of your risk factors. Every person is different, so we tailor a plan based on your needs, your goals, and your medical history, which may include:

Ultimately, our goal is to mitigate certain conditions, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol. As well, we can better manage pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes and sleep apnea, to improve your cardiovascular health.

When it comes to your health, any step you take to prevent a life-altering medical issue is a step in the right direction, and we’re with you every step of the way.


To learn more about assessing your stroke risk and taking action, please give us a call or use the online scheduling tool to set up an appointment.

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