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Local doctor, barber work together to prevent strokes in African American community

Posted at 6:09 PM, May 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-03 18:42:32-04

CLEVELAND — Film director John Singleton’s fatal stroke has shocked many and galvanized others to keep a closer watch on their health.

RELATED: 'Boyz n the Hood' director John Singleton has died following stroke

Dr. Charles Modlin, founder and director of Cleveland Clinic’s Minority Men’s Health Clinic, said blood pressure issues are increasingly common within the African American population.

“It’s more common in common in African American populations,” Modlin said. “About 41 percent of African Americans nationwide suffer from hypertension. In contrast, the national average is only about 25 percent.”

Modlin said some medicines have been ineffective for African American men because of a lack of diversity and inclusion in testing.

“Most meds have been tested on one group of individuals and that’s white males,"Modlin said.

The call for African Americans to pay attention to their blood pressure is being made by one local barbershop.

Waverly Willis runs Urban Kutz Barbershop. He has been inviting clients to get their blood pressure checked in his shop for the last 10 years.

“I took that personal, because I know the influence that I have on my clientele,” Willis said. “They really appreciate the fact that I really give a damn. I want them to live.”

Modin wants individuals to be aware of what good blood pressure looks like.

“Your upper number should be 119 or less,” Modlin said. “The lower number should be 79 or less.”

According to the American Heart Association, some signs of high blood pressure include blood spots in the eyes, facial flushing and dizziness.