OWN network's Lamman Rucker pours heart into cardiovascular health

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Lamman Rucker is a successful actor who began his professional career on daytime television. Now, the star of OWN Network’s “Greenleaf” is pouring his heart into improving the cardiovascular health of the black community.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) nearly 44 percent of black men and 48 percent of black women experience a type of cardiovascular disease that includes heart disease and stroke. Rucker is teaming up with the American Heart Association and the Association of Black Cardiologists to raise awareness of a healthy lifestyle to create a healthier community.

“These issues have affected me personally, my family members as well,” Lamman told FoxNews.com, adding, “being a young man of color and being aware of these numbers and the health disparities that exists, it was just evident that something needed to be done and there’s never too many soldiers in the fight for positive change.”

Lamman wants people to know that beyond family history and genetics, heart disease can be preventable and it comes with changing habits. Eating well-balanced, healthy meals and exercise are key to keeping heart disease at bay.

“You have to make some difficult decisions sometimes, you have to push back from the table,” Lamman said.

Lamman was asked to be the master of ceremonies at the Association of Black Cardiologist’s “Spirit of the Heart” gala which will honor doctors and researchers who have made significant contributions to healthier black lives. Honoring these heroes, Lamman said, is very important because “a big part of it is representation.” He added that people are more inclined to listen if advice is coming from someone who “[understands] the community, who [understands] the needs…the dialects, the tone, the sensitivity, the compassion of that community.”

For more information about the Association of Black Cardiologists click here.