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You can rest assured of one thing: Orlando Brown would have wanted his tragic and untimely death to be considered a wake-up call.

Brown stood 6 feet, 7 inches tall and weighed close to 400 pounds. The man-mountain was an offensive tackle for the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens. He died in late September. In early October, a medical examiner determined that Brown died of diabetic ketoacidosis.

He was only 40 years old.

The medical examiner said it was possible – and Brown’s friends seemed to confirm in several news stories – that Brown probably didn’t even know he had diabetes. Had he known, those friends said, he most certainly would have sought treatment for it.

I don’t doubt that, but what Brown probably failed to do is visit his primary care physician at least twice a year. Had he done that, the sneaky stealth disease known as adult onset diabetes might have been diagnosed several years ago, and Brown’s death prevented.

Brown’s friends didn’t indicate whether or not he was aware of the disproportionate impact diabetes has on black Americans, but if he had, the sobering statistics might have inspired – or scared – him into visiting his primary care physician and getting that checkup. Here are some of those stats, courtesy of the Web site www.diabetes.org:

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article courtesy of BlackAmericaWeb.com

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