With hip-hop pioneers like Russell Simmons and Rev Run decidedly in their 50s and artists like Jay-Z and Diddy now in their 40s, the hip-hop generation has categorically come of middle age.
The recent death of Heavy D aged 44, Erik Sermon’s heart attack at age 42, and the recently reported seizures of Rick Ross at age 35 , all highlight that like other men, hip-hop icons also face the ensuing health problems that come with middle age. There are some aspects of middle age that hip-hop icons might hold back, but here are just a few health issues that our middle-aged icons can anticipate.
Despite being a condition that often inspires ridicule a midlife crisis may affect around 20 percent of men between the ages of 35 and 50. It is thought to be caused by hormonal changes, affect mostly men and last for up to 10 years, often characterized by depression. Like other middle aged men, one in five of our hip-hop heroes could be in the midst of a midlife crisis.
Regular activity, getting a good night’s sleep and talking with family, friends or therapists through troubling times can help. Stay active icons, get your beauty sleep and don’t party too hard. Remember that emotional openness can help your mental health too!
Even for middle-aged hip hop heroes, maintaining a diet into middle age that is high in fat and salt will likely result in weight and health problems as readily as cholesterol sticks to arteries.
Weight problems in middle age are associated with high cholesterol and high blood pressure – both of which can usually be controlled with diet and medication.
There may be no symptoms of either high blood pressure or high cholesterol, but both can lead to blood clots resulting in stroke, heart disease and arterial blockages which lead to heart attack. Forty two percent of African-American men and 44 percent of African-American women are thought have high blood pressure; rates that are significantly higher than for other ethnicities.
A couple of handy tips for the middle aged hip-hop heads – check out your cholesterol and blood pressure levels, stay active, take care with what your diet, and pace yourself with the salt!
Adult onset diabetes (type 2) is a chronic condition in which the body fails to properly metabolize sugar, and is unable to maintain normal glucose levels. Around 19 percent of African-American adults are diabetic and twice as likely to be diabetic compared with white Americans.
The cause of diabetes is not known, but to reduce the risk of disease, maintain a healthy diet and keep physically active. Diabetes itself is also a major cause of stroke and heart disease, though the risk can be lessened with good disease prevention and management measures.
The highest incidence of diabetes is admittedly among the over 65s, but don’t delay in taking action to limit your risk, hip-hop heads. Diabetes is increasingly being diagnosed in middle age, and an estimated 14 percent of adults between age 45 and 64 may have diabetes but remain undiagnosed.
This is the most common type of cancer for US men, and second only to lung cancer in the number of cancer deaths; rates are elevated for African-Americans. Included among the risk factors for prostate cancer are being over 50 and being African-American.
Some men experience symptoms including difficult and painful urination, or back, hip or pelvic pain, while others experience no symptoms. Being aware of possible symptoms, knowing the testing and screening options, and discussing these with your health care provider offer the best options to guard against prostate cancer.
Male-pattern baldness is an inherited oversensitivity of hair follicles and tends to follow a set pattern of baldness; it mostly affects men, but can also affect women. Follicles first shrink to cause a receding hairline and thinning on the crown and temples, before stopping function to cause baldness.
Most men will have at least some degree of baldness by the age of 60. Baldness is a consequence of hair follicles becoming more sensitive to dihydrotestosterone (a product of testosterone). Though there is an association between hair loss and testosterone, there’s no association between baldness and loss of virility.
A full head of hair is something that some middle aged icons can still sport, but for others maintaining the mop is a challenge not easily won. Hair loss can be a distressing consequence of middle age and while hair replacement therapies, wigs and toupees might help, little can be done to effectively avoid baldness.
Like male-pattern baldness, middle age is also something to be welcomed with grace. As he embraces middle age, being emotionally open and communicative, keeping in shape, staying active, as well as maintaining moderation in food and drinks, should be priorities for good health for the middle-aged hip-hop icon.