Controversial YouTube Star Dies of Hypertension. Why This Is Important to the Black Community
By Joy Stephenson-Laws, JD, Founder
He was one of those people you either loved or hated, or perhaps you just found him entertaining to watch because he had zero filter. Samuels was a popular African-American YouTube personality and self-proclaimed image consultant known for making controversial remarks (particularly targeted towards black women).
Recently, Samuels passed at the age of 53 and his cause of death was shocking and ironic to many.
“Kevin Samuels built his platform on telling Black women, especially single mothers, that they were going to die alone and that they weren’t beautiful,” wrote blogger Tanay Hudson.
“He would give them low ratings regarding their looks and tell them they were overweight and destined to have health issues like high blood pressure. It’s ironic that Samuels died alone due to a health issue he told Black women was coming their way.”
It was recently revealed that Samuels died of hypertension (high blood pressure). Judging by Samuels’s appearance he looked very fit and healthy, but you can’t always judge a person’s health by how he or she looks.
According to a report from People Magazine, Samuels had chest pain and collapsed while he was with a woman he had met earlier the night of his death.
“The medical examiner revealed they found evidence of the degenerative condition, which includes ‘a heart whose chambers are thicker than normal,’” according to one report.
“Traces of a high blood pressure medicine called Atenolol was also discovered in his body.”
Several sources say that he likely died of a heart attack. Hypertension greatly increases the risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
“High blood pressure can damage your arteries by making them less elastic, which decreases the flow of blood and oxygen to your heart and leads to heart disease,” reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Many had a lot to say about Kevin Samuels death. Some called it tragic. Some called it karma. No matter your opinion on this controversial personality’s remarks and body of work he left behind, one thing is for sure. The death of Kevin Samuels highlights the fact that African-Americans are at serious risk of developing hypertension and dying from hypertension-related illnesses and events.Black adults have higher rates of more severe hypertension.
According to the American Heart Association, around 55 percent of black adults have hypertension. Furthermore, black adults have higher rates of more severe hypertension, and it generally develops earlier in life.
“Historical and systemic factors play a major role in these statistics. Among them are adverse social determinants of health, the conditions in which a person is born and lives. The determinants include lack of access to care, lack of access to healthy foods and other societal issues,” reports the American Heart Association.
“Lack of access to medication, and distrust of health care professionals based on historical discrimination, are among contributing factors to a lower adherence to blood pressure medications.”
I have previously blogged about how Afro-Carribeans must be extra vigilant about hypertension. Hypertension also disproportionately affects black men (which you can read about here).
This all makes this problem difficult to fix, so this particular community must be extremely proactive about fighting hypertension. The most effective way to do this, in my opinion, is through personal diet and lifestyle choices.
Eating healthily is important when it comes to preventing hypertension. One of the reasons why millions of Americans currently have high blood pressure is a diet rich in unhealthy fats, sugar and processed foods. The good news is diet is something you can improve. Along with eating junk foods and sweets in moderation, make sure you are getting an adequate intake of these 7 nutrients that may help fight hypertension. And as always, take a comprehensive nutrient test to ensure you have the right balance of nutrients, like magnesium and potassium. These are examples of nutrients which directly affect your ability to maintain a healthy blood pressure.
I do not know really anything about the health history of Kevin Samuels. As mentioned, he looked very fit and healthy. But a person does not have to be overweight to be diabetic, hypertensive or have metabolic syndrome. This is why routine physicals are so important. We tend to think that people who can eat what they want and not gain much weight are very lucky. Although they may be able to avoid the unwanted pounds, they cannot necessarily avoid the real issues such as hypertension, diabetes and heart disease.
Finally, check out this video on hypertension.
Enjoy your healthy life!
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