AboutHEALTH: Navigate Healthcare

Heart Disease has been one of the leading killers in minority groups especially in African Americans. 

Its is unsettling to know how easy it is for people to have heart disease. In some cases, this has become something that is beyond control as it has been stated that factors like genetics may have an impact on the number of cases of heart disease.

There is a lot that can be done to decrease the number of lives that are claimed by this disease and this is something you can help.

“Get checked, then work with your medical professional on your specific risk factors and the things that you need to do to take care of your personal health,” said Winston Gandy, M.D."

Below are ways to understand how to take a front seat with your health.


Does Age Determine Your Ability to Keep Your Heart Healthy?


Author: Victoria Quarshie

With heart disease being the leading cause of death in more men, the importance of taking precautionary measures to “safeguard your heart” has become clear. The idea of taking preventative measures seems to mean something different to men of different ages. Worrying about your heart’s health may not be at the top of your priority list in your 20s, however, the little things that you do such as exercise five times a week for 30 minutes may help reduce stresses on your heart. While 30s have increasingly become known to be as easy as the 20s from a social perspective, this doesn’t necessarily mean that being in your 30s comes with less to worry about when it comes to your heart. Medical professionals have advised getting electrocardiograms within 10 years of each one when in your 30s which is something men in their 20s don’t have to face.
Fifty is the typical age when some men can develop coronary heart disease, according to Dr. Topol

Men in their 40s and over 50s tend to be the group that is warned the most about the signs of heart disease. Could it be because they have live longer? Possibly, however, the biggest contributing factors to prevent heart disease at this stage begin between their 20s and 30s. Whereas the list of recommendations is shorter with men in their 20s and 30s, it increases between 40s and 50s with two factors, an exercise stress test and c-reactive protein level check. The reality is that regardless of how old you are, there is always something you can do to to take care of your heart. Age may be an indicator of how much more you have to look out for, however, there are ways to reduce your worries of heart disease. Whether you exercise five times a week for 30 minutes, keep your blood pressure and cholesterol pressure at healthy levels, go in for annual physicals, or get exercise stress tests, it is right to assume that a combination of these preventative measures “safeguards your heart.”

The Risks of Hypertension You Can Avoid

Author: Victoria Quarshie

When it comes to health care, you don’t have to be alone. With the Affordable Care Act in place, more people have started to include annual physical check ups into their routines. For most, a typical physical check up involves getting checked for risks of illnesses and finding out weather there is something you should pay more attention to. For some people, they may have been tested and told that they have high blood pressure (hypertension) during their physical check ups. This kind of news can impact your life in more ways than one.

“By taking steps to lower your blood pressure, you can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure.”

Hypertension is a serious issue to people because it poses as a threat for more serious illnesses. If you happen to be one of the people who gets the bad news, you can still make some changes. There are ways to try and lower the risks of hypertension and healthcare professionals have made it a point to educate all people about the risks especially if you  drink more than the recommended amount of alcohol,  have chronic stress that is ongoing, and/ or if you smoke.

In general, the risks of hypertension increase as people get older. People who fall in one

or more of the following categories tend to be most at risk for hypertension:

Overweight or obese
African American
Have a family history of high blood pressure
Eat foods high in sodium (salt)
Those who get less than 30 minutes of physical activity a day

“It’s important to check your blood pressure often, especially if you are over age 40.”

Hypertension has affected more men over the age of 40 over the years. Does this mean that men over 40 drink more alcohol? Does it mean that they smoke more? Do they face more stresses in life? These are all valid questions to ask because they make us all think about how external factors can create higher risks for hypertension. These questions also help us confront the bigger risks which may include heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure. These questions may not all come with a straight forward answer, but consulting health professionals and physical check ups can help you get closer to the answers you need to avoid hypertension.

Source: HealthFinder.gov

“Is your health worth the gamble?"

Author: Victoria Quarshie

“What about cost?”
When it comes to healthcare, this is a burning question that seems to make most of us gamble with our health. Cost is at the core of discussion for people because it has become challenging for most to afford the services they need. Whether insured or not, people find themselves intimidated by the idea of going to the doctor because they do not know whether they will be able to afford their medical bills. So it makes one wonder, is putting your health needs on hold worth saving some money? Is it okay to use that money in other ways that may help you avoid illnesses?

If we are considering more than one generation, we may find that younger people are more likely to gamble and take their chances with skipping needed medical care to save some money. Medical expenses may be more than most young people can afford especially if most are at the beginning of their careers. Older generations including African American men over 40 are less likely to take such risks. With illnesses such as hypertension now becoming more common in African Americans, men of this ethnicity and age group are urged to be aware of the risks.

To help lower the risks of getting hypertension, African American men are encouraged to do the following:

Eat healthy and avoid food that contain high amounts of sodium.
Partake in regular physical activity at least 30 minutes a day. Physical activity may include walking, running, biking, aerobics, and swimming.
Quit smoking. This lowers damage of the heart as well as blood vessels.
Avoid Stressful situations.
Reduce alcoholic beverages to two or less a day.

Healthcare professionals have found that these factors help lower your chances of getting hypertension. Most of these seem relatively familiar to us but what some people may take for granted is their stress levels. Men especially of older generations tends to overwork themselves in various areas of their lives. Jobs, family, and even social demands can take a toll on how you take care of yourself, however, it is important to remember that allowing these stressors to get out of control costs you more than a medical bill.


Source: healthfinder.gov