Black men's health in danger -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Black men's health in danger

July 7, 2003

Albany- Roscoe Dunlap will never forget the day he went to bed with what he calls a terrible headache and woke up in an ambulance. The doctor's prognosis stunned him.

"You have had a mild CVA, I said what's a CVA, is it like CVS, he said no you had a stroke," remembers Dunlap.

He, like many black men, didn't think of health as a priority, but doctors say that's got to change. They say men need to be more like women when it comes to their health.

"The big difference in the men and women is that the women do what you ask them, the men don't. They tend to have a sense of infallibility and immortality, but they all die before the women do," says Doctor Phillip Roberts.

There are numerous studies and statistics that point to this, but health professionals say that's not the way to reach men. "The scare tactic is not working with men, so what we're finding that we have to do is let men know that if they want to love themselves and love their family they have a responsibility of being around for their family. Its only fair that they take care of themselves," says Darrell Sabbs, of Phoebe Putney Health Institute.

That means shedding the macho image, educating themselves, and like Dunlap spreading the word. "If the black male has any concern about his health or his parents' health or his brother's or siblings health, or concern for the community or concern for the spouse or significant other, go get your health checked that's the bottom line," says Dunlap.

Health professionals also say women play a major role in not only setting a healthy example for male counterparts, but also pushing them to take care of themselves.

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