Monty Brooks knows the facts.
Black men are more likely to die from heart disease than any other group in the United States, according to a report last week in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Higher rates of diabetes, smoking, hypertension as well as a lack of doctors' visits and exercise are among the reasons for the increased risk.
But that's not stopping Brooks from working out, eating healthy, spreading the word about fitness and coming up with suggestions as to how to turn this trend in the opposite direction.
"I know many, many black men who just don't take care of themselves," he said. "I'm lucky. I have a wonderful wife who eats well and I do, too, although I can always get better. I have some ideas on why we don't do what we need to do, but to see things change, we need to start with the young people. With (adults), we're talking about changing our whole environment."
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of Americans of all races and ethnicities. The increase in obesity rates, the continued sedentary lifestyle and the eating of fatty foods add stresses to the heart that eventually lead to the disease.
But the JAMA study reported Black Americans have higher amounts of heart disease -- as high as double the rates depending on the U.S. region -- and men are more likely to die as a result.
Slightly more than 300 black men die from heart disease for every 100,000 residents in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control. That's considerably more than non-Hispanic white men, with slightly more than 230 deaths.
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SOURCE: The Star Press