By Shawntell Muhammad

In honor of National Minority Health Month, we are going to highlight Black men’s health. Black people in America, particularly Black men, are at a higher risk of developing and suffering from major chronic illnesses, compared to other groups in this country. When it comes to hypertension (high blood pressure), Black men account for 59 percent of all hypertension patients in America, according to Mayo Clinic Proceedings. April was National Minority Health Month.

Along with the many health issues caused by hypertension including heart disease, hypertension contributes to a weakened immune system.

The novel coronavirus also known as Covid-19 has brought the world to a stand still. Unmanaged high blood pressure and Type 2 Diabetes causes severe Covid-19 complications.


Type 2 Diabetes affects approximately 11.4 percent of all Black Americans and most are unaware that they have it. Poor eating habits such as consuming too much fried food, lots of foods by Shawntell Muhammad Preventative measures in addressing Black health that are high in carbohydrates, sugar, and starches are all major factors with the development of diabetes.

Lack of proper knowledge and care of preventive and maintenance of health, which includes nutrition, physical activity, and stress management leads to cancer, strokes, and heart disease.

The website for Centra State Health Care System states that Black men are 50 percent more likely than White men to get lung cancer, and Black men experience enlarged prostates and prostate cancer, more than other groups of men.

Black people are twice as likely to die from a stroke than Whites, and more likely to become disabled and experience difficulties with daily activities if they survive the stroke.

Black adult men in the United States make up 20.9 percent of cigarette smokers, while Black adolescents aged 12-17 years old make up 3.2 percent of cigarette smokers, cites the American Lung Association.

Blacks ages 18 to 49 are two times more likely to die of heart disease than other Americans.

In the book, “How to Eat to Live, Book 2,” the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad writes, “High blood pressure, diabetes, colds and fevers, ailments of the heart, headaches, stomach aches, and all types of ulcers can be cured and vanish under the right food and time that we should eat.”

The Nation of Islam patriarch continues, “The people suffer with so many sicknesses and diseases, due to the lack of care of what they put in their stomachs. There are many other things, the drink is included. Stay away from drinking that which you know is not good for you to drink.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states, “Physical activity A combined lifestyle change can help with prolonging our individual life along with future generations. Photo: CDC reduces the risk of several chronic diseases, and even short bouts of physical activity can improve health and wellness.”

Obesity is a common, serious, and costly chronic disease, the CDC noted. “Having obesity puts people at risk for many other serious chronic diseases and increases the risk of severe illness from Covid-19. Obesity is linked to impaired immune function. Obesity decreases lung capacity and reserve and can make ventilation more difficult. An estimated 30% of Covid-19 hospitalizations were attributed to obesity,” the CDC further stated.

Combined data from 2017- 2019, shows Black people accounting for 39.8 percent of obese people in the United States.

A combined lifestyle change can help with prolonging our individual life along with future generations. Seek out healthy food options such as organic fruit and vegetables, consistent physical activity, and stop smoking. Shawntell Muhammad is a freelance writer and can be reached at [email protected].