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Contact: Sharon Cook – Cook Public Relations

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The Easy & Inexpensive Way to Dramatically Improve Black America’s Heart Health

Springfield, OH – February 4, 2013 – A silent killer is attacking Black America, targeting far more victims than any other disease including cancer. The culprit? Salt.

Salt kills more Black Americans than all other diseases combined. Black Americans suffer salt-related health consequences two to six times more often than White Americans, at far younger ages. And their salt-related health challenges—which include cardiovascular disease, strokes, asthma, osteoporosis, obesity, kidney disease, stomach cancer and dementia—are usually two to six times more acute.

February is both Black History Month and American Heart Month—the perfect time to broadcast these alarming statics which, ironically, are not widely recognized. Although the substandard health of Black America is common knowledge, even nationally acclaimed physicians like Dr. Surender R. Neravetla, a heart surgeon and Director of Cardiac Surgery at Springfield Regional Medical Center, didn’t realize how salt was decimating this ethnic group.

Dr. Neravetla, who has been recognized as one of America’s top surgeons, knew that every single Black American he operated on, without exception and no matter how young, had an enlarged heart.

He knew that he was seeing three times more Black Americans on dialysis than their percentage of the population would warrant. That means that Black Americans are four times more likely than their Caucasian counterparts to develop kidney failure.

He knew that according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Minority Health (OMH), Black American children are 3.6 times more likely than Caucasian kids to visit the emergency department for asthma.

And he knew that these—and other—conditions are all related to sodium consumption.

But he didn’t put two and two together until he began to research the impact of salt on Black America’s health. What he uncovered shocked him profoundly. At the time he had planned to publish a short addendum to his book Salt Kills (Health Now Books, 2012) which would focus on salt and Black Americans. His disturbing findings made him realize that he needed to write a full book instead.

Salt: Black America’s Silent Killer  (Health Now Books, 2014) examines how and why salt is cutting Black American lives short—and compromising so many others—at such an alarming rate. Once people understand that dynamic, the Doctor believes that reducing salt intake will sound like a logical, inexpensive and easy way to dramatically improve Black Americans’ health. And he knows how profoundly that simple step will improve their lives. “I hear from people every day who have reduced or eliminated salt after hearing me talk or reading my writing,” says the Doctor. “This single change has transformed their health. That’s what keeps me going.”

Improving heart health—which includes convincing people to reduce salt consumption—has become a life mission for Doctor Neravetla. “I just couldn’t bear to see my patients back on my operating table again and again, or to go into the waiting room and witness their families eating exactly those foods that created their loved one’s heart problems,” he says. Despite the plentiful research, too many people didn’t really comprehend the consequences of the choices they made. He realized that if he could translate those scientific findings into language and visuals that people could understand and relate to, he could make a profound difference not just in this country but around the world.

Salt: Black America’s Silent Killer is the second in what will be a series of books intended to promote heart health by translating complex scientific research into easy-to-understand text and visuals. “This series goes beyond the health statistics that have been around for several decades and presents the material in a way that helps readers see themselves and convinces them to adopt healthier habits,” says Dr. Neravetla. “Until I wrote my first book, nobody, I mean nobody paid any attention to my advice, including my own family members. But the simple language, creative illustrations and interesting analogies I use in my books, blogs and presentations to explain complex medical data have convinced people to start taking care of their heart health.”

In an effort to reach as many people as he can, when he’s not in surgery Doctor Neravetla does public speaking, writes his blog, creates videos, and writes his books. He’s also put together a team to spread the word, including hip-hop/rap performer, painter and poet Jason Graham aka Mosley Wotta. Graham, who narrates the new book trailer, has created a spoken-word piece about salt and Black Americans which is featured on the Doctor’s Health Now Books website.

Dr. Neravetla is hopeful that this outreach will pay off in terms of reducing the salt-related casualties in the Black American community. “Salt: Black America’s Silent Killer doesn’t tell you not to eat salt. Hundreds of books already say that and no one is listening,” says Dr. Neravetla, who is in the process of transforming his Health Now Books LLC into a non-profit organization. “Our mission is to present you with the information you need to make the right choice for you and your health. We’re convinced that once you know the facts, you’ll make the changes that will give you a better life.”

For more information about Salt: Black America’s Silent Killer by Surender R. Neravetla, MD, FACS with Shantanu R. Neravetla, MD, visit http://www.healthnowbooks.com/books/salt-black-americas-silent-killer/.

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SALT: BLACK AMERICA’S SILENT KILLER

Author:  Surender Reddy Neravetla, MD, FACS with Shantanu Reddy Neravetla, MD

ISBN:  978-1-938009-04-4 (full color) $24.99

ISBN:  978-1-938009-03-7 (e-book) $8.99

6” x 9”

95 pages

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