“In our effort to help educate our site visitors, this is part of our continuous effort to educate the black community about health and wellness and the risks associated with not exercising and taking care of ourselves. To this end we are proud to introduce the “Check Up” column featuring Dr. Darryl A. Hill, MD.”
Gary A. Johnson, Founder and Publisher – Black Men In America.com
CHECK UP featuring Dr. DARRYL A. HILL
Darryl A. Hill, M.D., is a practicing Internist in Laurel, MD. Dr. Hill graduated from University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in 1995 and has been in practice for over 22 years. He completed a residency at University of Maryland Medical System and is board certified in Internal Medicine.
The Health of the African American Male (Posted March 9, 2017)
By Dr. Darryl A. Hill FACP
Health is defined as a state of being sound in body or mind, or free of disease. Being healthy allows you to do the things in life that are important to you. This would include spending time with family and friends, going to work, and traveling to name a few things. All people want to be healthy and live a long life. African Americans make up twelve percent of the population and currently are the second largest racial and ethnic group in the United States. African American men suffer from some of the worse health outcomes for all groups of people in this country. Why is this? What is it that we can do to improve our health?
Naturally, there are complex reasons that help to explain this situation. Reasons that have existed for as long as we have been a part of this country. Socioeconomic disparities, inequitable access, educational challenges should be a good start to explain the former. Surprisingly, when you control for education and economics significant differences still exist. The life expectancy of an African American male is 72.3 years of age as compared to that of a white male at 76.7.
For all people in this country, heart disease continues to be a leading cause of death. This is followed by cancer, lung infection, stroke and diabetes. For African American men, homicide is also included on this list. As we all age, cancer continues to be something we all try to avoid. At the very least, we do all we can to prevent and if needed diagnose it early. Doing so will give one a chance to survive and maintain their quality of life. The following cancers continue to be the most common cancer for men: prostate, lung and colon cancer. For women, breast, lung and colon cancer continue to be the most common. Testing is available to help, but is only beneficial if we are taking advantage of the procedure. Knowing the risks and benefits are essential.
Most believe that our lifestyles and behaviors continue to be key factors that help us live healthy lives. Our diet and exercise plays a significant role in helping us live long lives. In addition, our genetics also play a role in our health. Let’s also not forget that we need to take advantage of routine examinations, screening tests and controlling our cholesterol, diabetes and blood pressure.
It is important for us to realize that healthcare is changing. More than ever the relationship with your doctor is important. This doctor patient relationship has changed over time. Now more than ever it is a partnership. With the internet and technology many already have the information they need to help make decisions. With the amount of information available, there is a need to still make sure you are making the correct decision.
As we continue we plan to discuss health topics that will help to keep you informed and healthy. As a society we are living longer. We all hope for that quality of life and happiness in our golden years. The goal here will be to help you understand your health better and to know what tests and when can help make a difference in your life. I look forward to learning and growing with you as we start this journey.
Yours in Health,
Darryl A. Hill, M.D. FACP