Garden City Park, NY: The sad news that revered and Oscar-nominated Boyz N the Hood director John Singleton died last week at age 51 after having a massive stroke serves as a reminder to the African-American community that preservation of everyday health is needed.
As pointed out in the wake of his death by various media throughout the US—including CBS affiliate WTVR-TV based in Richmond, Virginia—Mr. Singleton's stroke, exacerbated reportedly by years of hypertension (high blood pressure), mirrors the likelihood that many other black men in America will also suffer the dangers of stroke based on a number of alarming health statistics concerning the African-American community.
According to acclaimed African-American doctor Richard W. Walker, Jr., MD in his book African-American Healthy: What You Need to Know to Protect Your Health ($15.95 USD, ISBN: 978-0-7570-0361-5), the African-American community "tops the list of groups afflicted by hypertension, stroke, diabetes, heart disease, kidney failure, and cancer." Of strokes in particular, Dr. Walker observes that it "is the third greatest cause of death and the leading cause of adult disability in the United States. The occurrence of stroke doubles every decade after the age of 55." As he goes on in his book to quote a fairly recent University of Michigan study concerning the rapidly escalating costs of caring for stroke victimes—"$2.2 trillion over the next 45 years"—Dr. Walker points out that both African-Americans and Latinos are twice as likely to suffer strokes at younger ages than their Caucasian counterparts.
In addition to an immediate embrace of better diet along with increased exercise, though, Dr. Walker explains in his book that the reversal of vitamin D3 deficiency—particularly within the African-American community—will do much to improve the population's overall health. To his patients and readers alike, Dr. Walker says that "Most physicians now recommend vitamin D3 (called cholecalciferol) . . . Because it is so important to your health, I want you to know that the bioactivity of vitamin D3 is absolutely crucial to the quality and length of your life."
African-American Healthy has been awarded the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) Benjamin Franklin Award for Best Health Title, and has been recognized by Publishers Weekly ("Walker's efforts will undoubtedly prove valuable") and Library Journal ("Walker provides good, commonsense advice for African Americans concerned about their health") among other fine publications.
When it comes to strokes, of course, the illness ultimately continues to grow ever more color-blind in our country—the most recent example being the death of beloved actor and one-time Beverly Hills 90210 hearthrob Luke Perry, who passed away this past March at age 52 after also suffering a massive stroke. In light of the growing prevalance of this worrisome condition among all Americans, Square One will publish later this year a book entitled What You Must Know About Strokes ($16.95 USD, ISBN: 978-0-7570-0483-4). Knowledge put into action remains our most vital weapon against all manner of disease—these books can show the way.