Affordable Health Insurance logo Everything You Need to Know About Affordable Health Insurance and More

  The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Sunday, August 18, 2013

5 Important Health Tests for African-American Men Over 30

Black Man Working Out

Turning 30 doesn't seem to be an important turning point for most men as far as health is concerned. After all, they are still young and vibrant. But staying healthy should never be taken for granted. Regular checkups can often detect health problems and other diseases than can be either prevented or treated early. Here are five important tests for men over 30, particularly African-American men.

#1 - Cholesterol

African-Americans' heart failure rate is 20 times higher than that of whites before age 50. One culprit is abnormal cholesterol levels. High LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and low HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) are major risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Cholesterol screenings should begin at age 20 and checked every five years.

#2 - Blood Pressure

Another risk factor for heart failure is high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. Forty percent of African-American adults have high blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and even erectile dysfunction. Yet less than 30 percent are being treated. Blood pressure should be checked on a regular basis. High blood pressure is called the silent killer because in most cases there are no symptoms.

#3 - Belly Fat

Belly fat, also called waist circumference, can lead to diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. How? Belly fat secrets substances that can damage the body and increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and even cancer. It can increase blood pressure by constricting blood vessels, cause inflammation leading to heart disease, diabetes and cancer, and cause heart attacks from clogged arteries. African-Americans have the highest rates of obesity than any other race.

#4 - EKG

An electrocardiogram (EKG) test is an exercise stress test used to check the electrical activity of the heart. It can also detect enlargement of the heart, heart murmurs, heart rhythm problems and heart damage. EKG's are recommended for anyone who may be experiencing chest pain, shortness of breath, an irregular heartbeat or palpitations, or other symptoms of heart disease. They can also be a lifesaving test for people with diabetes or history of heart disease and other risk factors.

#5 - Vitamin D Deficiency

Research shows that anywhere from 60 to 90 percent and more of African-Americans have a vitamin D deficiency. Why is this important to know? Vitamin D helps protect against high blood pressure, diabetes, certain cancers, multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases.
DISCLAIMER: The content or opinions expressed on this web site are not to be interpreted as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or medical practitioner before utilizing any suggestions on this web site.