Men’s Health Month – A young father’s wakeup call
Every June, Men’s Health Month is recognized in the United States to bring awareness to preventable health conditions and to encourage men to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the life expectancy for white males has increased to 76.6, African American men are lagging at 72.6 years.
African American men suffer and die from preventable diseases at rates higher than other groups in the United States. Heart disease is one of them and is now the leading cause of death killing one in every four African American males, or 24.1% of deaths (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). There are multiple factors that may contribute to these numbers but a couple are related to lifestyle behaviors (lack of physical activity, high fat diets and smoking) and not managing chronic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol.
Andre’ Alberti, 38, a young single father of two boys and a high school math teacher had a wakeup call. Last fall, his dad saw him clutching his chest and having problems breathing. Dad called 911 and Alberti ended up in Legacy Emanuel for several days. His blood pressure shot up to dangerous levels. He had run out of his blood pressure medication and was too busy to get a refill. He felt fine.
Andre’s says it took that episode to realize how he needed to be alive and healthy to raise Aedan, 6, and Androu, 8. He increased his physical activity and enjoys chasing the boys around the park even more, for a good workout. He’s also looking at food differently – fast food is not a staple, eat foods in moderate portions and put down the salt shaker.
“My biggest reason for making lifestyle changes are my sons,” says Alberti. “How can I love on them and support them if I don't prioritize my health.”
Blood pressure is called the “silent killer” because most of time there aren’t any obvious symptoms to indicate something is wrong. “Now health is important to me now because I want to show my kids how to lead a healthy lifestyle,” says Alberti. “I’m blessed with a loving, extended family, a church family and lots of students who look up to me so I have a lot to live for.
For more information on men’s health, click:
American Heart Association Men's Health https://bit.ly/2JXqbGR
Legacy Health Library https://bit.ly/2tuLpSU
Black Men's Health Initiative http://www.bmhi.org/
Legacy Emanuel public relations contact: Vicki Guinn, Legacy Emanuel, firstname.lastname@example.org, 503-413-2939
Photo credit: Andre’ Alberti