Veteran stand-up comedian and actor Sinbad, 64, is recovering from a recent stroke, his family confirmed on Nov. 16.
Strokes are the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. and Black men are at a higher risk of suffering from a stroke than others.
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 is a light source of love and joy for many generations,” the comedian’s family said. “While he is beginning his road to recovery, we are faithful and optimistic that he will bring laughter into our hearts soon.”
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.”
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Fans responded with love and hope to the news on Twitter. “Sending my prayers up for @wesrangarajanbadbad, I have always loved the man and always will. His humor lifted me up many times when I was so low in life. #sinbad” a user wrote.
Another said, “Sinbad was the first comedian I ever saw live and I cried laughing at his set. Wish him and his family a speedy recovery.”
“Get well soon. This year rough for everyone” another tweeted.
Sinbad and his wife, Meredith Fuller, have two children, NBC News reported.
“Our family thanks you in advance for your love and support and ask for continued prayers for his healing. We also ask that you please respect our privacy during this time,” Sinbad’s family said.
Here are the top 5 risk factors for stokes in Black men.
More than half of Black adults have high blood pressure. The normal blood pressure range should show a top number (systolic pressure) that’s between 90 and less than 120 and a bottom number (diastolic pressure) that’s between 60 and less than 80, Health Line reported.
More than two in five African-American men have blood pressure of 140/90 or more, or are taking medicine to control it, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
High blood pressure is much more severe in African-American men than in white men, CDC reported. More than three in five African-American men with blood pressure of 140/90 or more, or who are taking medicine to control their blood pressure, do not have it under control.
Almost 70 percent of Black men are overweight or obese, according to the CDC. African Americans may have a gene that greatly increases sensitivity to salt and its effects, according to research. High salt intake is associated with a significantly greater risk of both stroke and cardiovascular disease, according to a study published by British Medical Journal.
People suffering obesity have a higher incidence of the risk factors of stroke, and are thus more susceptible to death or disability due to stroke. In fact, obesity/overweight are primary risk factors for stroke for men and women of all races, according to Obesity Action Coalition.
African Americans are more likely to have diabetes than their white peers. And about one in nine African-American men have been diagnosed with diabetes, and many more have the disease but do not know it, according to the CDC.
Diabetes is a well-established risk factor for stroke. “It can cause pathologic changes in blood vessels at various locations and can lead to stroke if cerebral vessels are directly affected,” according to the study “Perceived Sources of Stress and Resilience in Men in an African-American Community” published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information.
Nearly 30 percent of Black Americans have high levels of “bad” cholesterol or LDL — low-density lipoprotein — according to Stroke.org. LDL cholesterol is often called “bad” because it collects in the walls of your blood vessels, raising your chances of health problems like a heart attack or stroke, WebMD reported.
Black men have slightly higher reported levels of LDL — 32.4 percent of Black men and 31.7 percent of white men have borderline high or high LDL levels, Very Well Health reported.
African-American men face daily stress not experienced by men in other groups that may increase risk for stroke. Stress due to psycho-social factors such as racism and finances are extremely common in African-American men.
Almost all (93.2 percent) of Black men participating in a 2014 resilience study reported stress, found the study “Perceived Sources of Stress and Resilience in Men in an African-American Community.” Of those reporting stress, 60.8 percent of Black men reported finances and money as a cause of stress and 43.2 percent reported racism.
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Besides these five risk factors, there are others that contribute to the high rate of strokes in Black men. These include:
To reduce the likelihood of stroke, eat more fruits and vegetables, reduce salt in your diet, exercise, stop smoking, and manage stress, according to Stroke.org.