John Singleton's Family Is Urging Black Men And Women To Get Their Blood Pressure Checked

“More than 40% of African American men and women have high blood pressure."

John Singleton
Photo Credit: Getty Images

| May 01 2019,

9:52 pm

Family and friends are mourning the loss of legendary director John Singleton. The 51-year-old, primarily known for his 1991 cult classic Boyz N the Hood, died on Monday due to complications from a "mild" stroke he suffered on April 17.

According to TMZ, Singleton checked himself into Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after experiencing weakness in his leg. Family members told the publication that Singleton had flown back from Costa Rica, and the flight may have triggered the muscle weakness. He was reportedly placed in a medically-induced coma after suffering a stroke while in the hospital. 

Singleton's family announced his death on Monday after making the "agonizing decision" to take him off life support. In a statement, the late director's family noted how he struggled with high blood pressure. They are now encouraging others to be aware of the signs. 

“More than 40% of African American men and women have high blood pressure, which also develops earlier in life and is usually more severe. His family wants to share the message with all to please recognize the symptoms by going to Heart.org.”

Approximately 85 million people in the United States have high blood pressure, but according to the American Heart Association, the prevalence of hypertension in African Americans in the U.S. is among the highest in the world. Among American adults 20 and older, 42.6% of non-Hispanic Black men and 47% of non-Hispanic Black women suffer from high blood pressure. Symptoms can include severe headaches, confusion, vision problems, irregular heartbeat and chest pain. 

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Singleton was the first African American filmmaker to receive a Best Director Oscar nomination for the coming of age drama Boyz N the Hood. Singleton's family describe the late director as someone who was "prolific" and "ground-breaking," a man "who changed the game and opened doors in Hollywood, a world that was just a few miles away, yet worlds away, from the neighborhood in which he grew up."

Messages of love and respect continue to pour in for Singleton from across the globe.

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