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Thursday, June 16, 2011
Bruce Springsteen bandmate Clarence Clemons' stroke spotlights risk for African-Americans
Bruce Springsteen (right) playing with Clarence Clemons
(Credit: AP Photo)
(CBS/AP) Bruce Springsteen's bandmate, Clarence Clemons, has suffered a stroke, spotlighting a condition that strikes 795,000 Americans each year and kills 137,000.
The 69-year-old saxophonist was stricken at this home in Florida, Rolling Stone reported.
Clemons, known as the "Big Man" in Springsteen's E Street Band, has faced many health challenges in recent years, including double knee surgery. At one point he had to perform from a wheelchair. But his health seemed to be improving, and last month he performed with Lady Gaga on the season finale of "American Idol."
She tweeted Monday morning that "my very close friend + musician on The Edge of Glory, Clarence Clemons is very sick. Can we all make some get well videos?"
"Please do not lose Hope!" Clemons' nephew, saxophonist Jake Clemons, said on Facebook.
The third-leading cause of death in the U.S., stroke can cause paralysis, speech difficulties, and emotional problems. Risk factors include diabetes, heart disease, smoking, being overweight, and having high blood pressure or cholesterol.
Being African-American is also a risk factor. African-Americans are nearly twice as likely to have and die from a stroke, according to the National Stroke Association. They're also more likely to become disabled and experience difficulties with daily living.