Black America was shocked when controversial YouTube host Kevin Samuels died suddenly on May 5. Atlanta’s Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office has finally announced its findings regarding the death of Samuels, 57. The ME has confirmed he died of hypertension, Complex reported.
Rumors swirled that the death of the dating and life guru was suspicious; after all, he had gone home with a woman he had just met in a restaurant earlier that night. She was with him when he died, and she tried to revive him.
But the ME has classified the death as one of the natural causes. It has been reported that Samuels was taking Atenolol, a beta-blocker that is often prescribed for those with hypertension. The ME stated in the report that Samuels had “evidence of hypertension includes a heart whose chambers are thicker than normal.”
Hypertension is called the silent killer and disproportionately affects Black Americans. About 55 percent of Black adults have high blood pressure, also known as hypertension or HBP.
Here are seven things for Black America to know.
High blood pressure is also called hypertension, and it is when a person’s blood pressure is consistently higher than normal, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Your blood pressure changes throughout the day based on your activities.
Blood pressure measures the push of blood against the walls of your arteries, and it depends on two things–how hard your heart pumps the blood and the amount of resistance in your arteries to blood flow.
Blood pressure is measured as two numbers. The top number is the systolic pressure, which is the pressure against artery walls as the heart beats. The bottom number is called the diastolic pressure; it is the pressure against artery walls as the heart relaxes between beats.
While Hypertension is a common health concern in the U.S., African Americans are at a higher risk of suffering from high blood pressure.
Black Americans also get hypertension at a younger age, and the problem is not limited to just adults, Stanford Children’s Health reported. Overweight African-American preteens may also develop high blood pressure.
Hypertension can lead to heart disease, blood vessel disease, kidney disease, stroke, and like in Samuels’ case, death.
High blood pressure was a primary or contributing cause of death for 516,955 people in the U.S. in 2019, the CDC reported.
According to the CDC, experts don’t know why most people get high blood pressure. But there are certain risk factors that can lead to high blood pressure. As one gets older, the risk gets higher. Also, men have a higher risk of developing high blood pressure earlier in life. If a relative suffers from high blood pressure, it may run in your family.
Certain lifestyle choices can increase the risks as well. Among them: smoking, being overweight or obese, and alcohol intake.
Again, experts aren’t sure why Black people have a righter risk. Approximately 1 in 3, more than 100 million, American adults have high blood pressure, but Black people are more likely to suffer from it than any other ethnic group. This may be due to the genetic makeup of people of African descent, Web MD reported.
The environment and socioeconomic factors also play a major part in the risk of high blood pressure, the American Heart Association stated. Black neighborhoods, for example, are more prone to be food deserts with a lack of healthy food options. Diets that are high in salt, fat, and sugar, and low in vegetables and fiber can also lead to hypertension.
Dealing with certain stressors such as racism and unemployment can also cause an increase in blood pressure, experts say.
The lack of access to affordable, high-quality medical care is a problem when patients need to manage their high blood pressure.
Often referred to as the “silent killer” because there may show no symptoms, the CDC states.
One of the biggest ways to prevent high blood pressure is through a change of lifestyle, Web MD reported. The basics of a healthy lifestyle include not smoking, exercises, maintaining a healthy weight, eating low-sodium foods, eating fruit and vegetables daily, and lowering your intake of alcohol to no more than than 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink a day for women.
Photo: Kevin Samuels, Instagram @kevinrsamuels