Ok, fellas, how many of you have a regular physician that you visit at least once a year? When was the last time you saw a doctor or had a regular checkup? You take care of your family, you take care of your community, you take care of work matters, but what about yourself?
A new University of Michigan study shows a majority of African American men said they do not go to the doctor because visits are stressful and many physicians don’t give adequate information on how to make prescribed behavior or lifestyle changes. And although this may be true it is vital that African American men are under the care of a physician because many health issues that are important can only be detected by looking at changes in health over time.”
Maybe these stats will convince our brothers to make their health a priority:
- African-American men are 30 percent more likely to die from heart disease than white males
- 36 percent of Black men are obese
3.7 million of all African-Americans 20 or older have diabetes
Below are two areas that are often overlooked and need to be followed up annually.
Weight and body mass index (BMI). Why it’s important: Approximately two of three adults are now overweight or obese, this can be the precursor for many health issues which can increase the risk for heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and other diseases, according to the American Heart Association. Many men will be surprised to find out they have an unhealthy BMI. Men believe that since they are in the gym regularly their healthy, but that doesn’t mean they have a healthy weight or BMI (which is 18.5 to 24.9). “The misconception that many Black men have is that because they exercise and have muscles they don’t need to worry about their weight. That’s not true.
You still need to make sure you maintain a normal weight,” says Ola Akinboboye, M.D., medical director at Queens Heart Institute in Rosedale, N.Y. and an associate professor of clinical medicine at Cornell University.
Blood Pressure. Your blood pressure should be checked at each doctor’s visit, but if your readings are high—between 120 and 139 for the top (systolic) number or between 80 and 89 for the bottom (diastolic) number—or if you have diabetes, heart disease or kidney problems, your physician will most likely monitor your blood pressure more often. Why is this important? Studies have shown that 40 percent of Blacks have high blood pressure. This correctable healthy issue is known as the “silent killer” and can lead to heart disease and stroke. Having your pressure checked regularly is imperative. “High blood pressure is more prevalent in Black men than in Black women.
Brother’s let make some time and get regular check-ups to ensure we are around to continue to do the things that our families have come to know