Saturday, May 19, 2007

Hypertension: What Oprah doesn't know

A few weeks ago, Oprah's show was devoted to answering health questions. Dr. Oz asked her if she knew why African Americans have such high rates of hypertension, and Oprah retorted that indeed she did and that it was because "African Americans who survived [the slave trade's Middle Passage] were those who could hold more salt in their body." To which Dr. Oz rejoiced: "That's perfect!"

This conversation caused quite a stir and I've been following the discussion of this on a listserv that i belong to. Finally, an article about it came out in the LA times. It's an interesting discussion because not only does it shed some light on the prevalence of hypertension in a minority group - but it emphasizes the need to communicate health information that is accurate. Oprah has such an impact on her audience that it means it's even more important that she provides them with concrete information about their health and well-being.

No comments: