Changing Social Determinants Can Stop Strokes

by Care, For Men, For Women

It is well documented that the social determinants of health play a major role in the health outcome of African Americans and the underserved.

Recently, I witnessed this with a young, African American woman, who at age 33, had experienced a massive stroke that resulted in complete paralysis on the left side of her body and some speech impairment.  She was accompanied by her 18 year old daughter who was nursing a young baby.  A review of the patient’s medical history revealed that she was a heavy smoker and used alcohol excessively.  She had no relationship with a clinic and had not received medical advice prior to having the stroke.  My assessment of her was bleak. 

My attention quickly turned to the young daughter of the patient.  I explained to her that her mother’s stroke was permanent and as time progressed, she would need continued medical care and her smoking and drinking should continue to cease. 

It was also explained to her that her fate would likely be the same if she did not maintain her health by seeing a physician regularly, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and getting an education to provide for herself, her baby, and her mother.


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Thaddeus J. Bell, MD
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Thaddeus J. Bell, MD


I am Dr. Thaddeus John Bell, closing the gap in health disparities for African Americans and the underserved.