Black women are strong and fearless, but not impenetrable. Certain health issues directly linked to lifestyle choices, or circumstances, affect Black women in higher proportions. One of those health issues is heart disease.
According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is more prevalent among Black women than White women—as are some of the factors that increase the risk of developing it, including high blood pressure, overweight and obesity, and diabetes. And for Queen Latifah —whose mother suffered from heart failure— this topic hits close to home.
“My mom was diagnosed with heart failure and it was a complete shock to us,” she told ESSENCE.
“It was the last thing we expected, but she passed out in school one day. You know, she was a high school teacher, and she kinda took a dive one day. Initially, it was shock and fear, and then it was like, ‘Ok. What do we do?'”
What she’s done in the years since then is be an advocate for the American Heart Association that celebrates World Heart Day today.
As a spokesperson for their What The HF? campaign, the Emmy award-winning actress advocates for healthy living that includes limiting salt intake, exercising and monitoring your body with annual doctor’s visits. On the What the HF? website, users can even take a simple test about the chronic, progressive condition of heart failure that affects 5.7 million Americans.
Learn more about Queen Latifah’s work with the campaign in the video above.