Diving into heart health amid the death of icon, singer Tina Turner

Posted at 6:58 PM, May 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-25 19:00:18-04

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WXYZ) — Turner, the queen of rock and roll with those vibrant lips, hair and famous legs still amazed audiences well into her 70's by singing some of her biggest hits that earned her 12 Grammy awards.

Little did we know, all the while she was suffering with the silent killer of high blood pressure and kidney disease.

Turner shared with the world on Instagram in March about her struggles:

"My kidneys are victims of my not realizing that my high blood pressure should have been treated with conventional medicine. I have put myself in great danger by refusing to face the reality that I need daily lifelong therapy with medication. For far too long I believed that my body was an untouchable and an indestructible bastionI," Turner said in the post.

Dr. Bryanne Standifer, an Internal Medicine Doctor from Ascension Providence Hospital in Southfield says she sees similar devastation from hypertension and kidney disease daily in our community.

She says she sees thousands of people die from a combination of hypertension and kidney disease annually.

We also spoke to Jamell Hightower who suffers from hypertension.

Jamell nearly died of a stroke when his blood pressure was through the roof and landed in the ER.

He now sees an Ascension doctor who prescribed him medication and put him on a health regimen to lose weight.

So far Jamell, who has a catering business, has lost 70 of his 100 hundred pound target.

Dr. Standifer says we don't feel high blood pressure, some people have headaches but the great majority don't feel it at all.

She recommends people see a primary care physician and at the very least check your blood pressure at home or at a pharmacy.

When I asked Dr. Standifer if she thinks Turner's death will shock people into going to see their doctor. She responded, "I hope so, I really hope they do."

Turner died Wednesday, 11 weeks after she talked about her kidney issues publicly.

The exact cause of death for Turner is still unclear but she was reportedly battling a long illness.