My comments today are directed to the men in the audience, but if your household is like most households, I am glad that the women are watching. If you watch the news, keep up with your friends and loved ones, or just pay attention to what is going on around you, you have noticed the alarming growth rate of heart disease among men of all ages. And among African American men the rates are more alarming. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 600,000 people die of heart disease every year and more than half of them are men.
Many of us are in denial about our diet and exercise but we have to change that mindset. For many of us we go to the doctor for our annual physical and when the numbers come back it can sometimes be a shock to the system. Many of us change our diet, start walking or join a health club and begin to change our quality of life. That's the good news. But far too many of us do not go to the doctor and we don't maintain the good habits that we develop after a bad report from our doctor.
So my comments today are not designed to scare you, but to warn you that heart disease is growing among us and you don't have to be a doctor to know that it's all about exercise and nutrition. For all of those men out there who have healthy habits, call a friend and offer some good advice. Really, take the time to do that. That five-minute phone call may just save his life.
For more information about how to maintain a healthy heart, go to the American Heart Association's website: heart.org.