Black Health Matters
By: Richard W. Walker, Jr., MD - Square One Publishers, $16.95
Description: It’s no secret that the Black community tops the list of groups afflicted by hypertension, stroke, diabetes, heart disease, kidney failure, and cancer. What the statistics do not show is the pain, misery, and despair that these conditions create — not only for the individual but also for family and friends.
As an African-American doctor, Dr. Richard Walker has studied these conditions among his patients for many years. Now, in Black Health Matters, Dr. Walker offers a number of commonsense ways to prevent, manage, and possibly eliminate these killers, turning the tide of African-American health.
Verdict: In this unique book, Dr. Walker follows the health and healthcare journey of African captives into slavery and describes what they had to do to survive nutritionally and culturally, ultimately resulting in the chronic ill health and early death now pervasive in Black communities.
Indeed, here within Black Health Matters: The Vital Facts You Must Know to Protect Your Health and That of Your Loved Ones (to give it its justified full title), Dr. Walker does a rather excellent job of covering the most common health concerns and questions affecting African-American in the 21st century.
At all times using a friendly, almost conversational tone, and seamlessly combining a mix of statistics and scientific information throughout, along with easy to follow recommendations for resolving certain health issues brought to the fore, Dr. Walker outlines the primary health disparities that exist between African-Americans and white Americans.
As we know, Doctors are seeing diseases that you’d expect to see in older patients — heart disease, diabetes, stroke — in relatively young African Americans. While genetics may play a role in certain instances, socioeconomic factors have a significant impact on how African-Americans are able to prevent and treat certain conditions.
Complete with a really helpful Glossary and Guide to Dietary Supplements located in the back of the book, what Dr. Walker tries to explain is how African-Americans can turn their health around by understanding and incorporating better nutrition, nutritional supplements, exercise, and regular healthcare checkups into their lives.
Each chapter explains a different health problem common to the Black community — including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, hypertension, sickle cell disease, and more — and offers concrete ways in which that condition can be avoided or better managed, often through simple changes that can be easily made by the individual.
With tips located throughout, scattered like bread crumbs leading to a better path of health and longitude within it, Dr. Walker also ensures the reader is fully aware that knowing, locating and communicating with affordable healthcare professionals is an utmost priority these days.
Taking a short sidebar for a second, and as we quickly discovered not that long ago, some minorities are being disproportionately affected by COVID-19, stemming from inequalities in health care access and poverty.
At one stage, African-Americans are experiencing 2.6 times higher cases, 4.7 times higher hospitalization rates, and 2.1 times more death from COVID-19 compared to white counterparts, it was revealed.
Notably, and going back to 2017, 89% of African-Americans had health care coverage compared to 93% of white Americans; 44% of African Americans had government health insurance that year. Additionally, 12% of African Americans under the age of 65 reported having no health care coverage that year.
No matter what the fluctuating facts and figures are though, Black Health Matters: The Vital Facts You Must Know to Protect Your Health and That of Your Loved Ones is a highly practical and easy-to-use guide, and one where Dr. Walker encourages us all, no matter our ancestry, to all take that first step towards achieving a healthier, longer life.
About the Author Richard W. Walker, Jr., MD, received his medical degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, and completed his residency at the University of Michigan.
He has served on the faculty of the University of Texas Medical Center and is the founder and medical director of Walker Health Care Holdings and TVP-Care, PC, Houston-based healthcare companies.
In addition to being a published writer, Dr. Walker is a highly sought-after speaker.
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