Potential health issues to be mindful of during Black History Month 

press release from Piedmont Walton

Monroe, Ga. (Feb. 26, 2024) – February is Black History Month and while the country is celebrating and commemorating the great contributions made to this country by Black Americans, it also is a good time to be mindful of health issues impacting the Black community.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 56.8 percent of Black or African-American non-Hispanic men age 20 and older have hypertension. Among women, that percentage is even higher: 57.6 percent.

Loida Bonney, M.D., an internal medicine physician and a primary care regional medical director for Piedmont Primary Care, said diseases stemming from uncontrolled blood pressure, also known as hypertension, impact Black Americans in disproportionate numbers. Hypertension can lead to heart disease, stroke, and chronic kidney disease. 

“Hypertension is a silent killer,” Dr. Bonney said. “Lifestyle modification can significantly lower risk for heart disease and stroke. Getting regular exercise and shifting to a plant-based diet can help to improve overall health and reduce these risks.”

A yearly physical can help you stay on top of your blood pressure numbers and take steps to reduce your risk factors.

Uncontrolled hypertension is a leading cause of Chronic Kidney Disease. End Stage chronic kidney disease is treated with a form of life support called hemodialysis that requires prolonged clinic visits as many as three times per week and can be associated with other risks and complications.

Screening for chronic kidney disease can be performed with two simple tests, according to the National Kidney Foundation:

  • Spot urine for albumin-to-creatinine ratio (ACR) to detect albuminuria
  • Serum creatinine to estimate glomerular filtration rate (GFR)

If you have questions about how to receive screening for these tests or any of the above, you may consult your primary care physician.

For more information, or booking your next appointment, visit piedmont.org.  

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