The study followed 319 black men that patronized the barbershops who had a systolic blood pressure - the pressure of blood flow when the heart pumps - of 140 mm Hg (millimeter of mercury) or more, a clinically high and unsafe level. The findings were reported in the i New England Journal of Medicine /i and announced Monday at a meeting of the American College of Cardiology. ― AFP picNEW YORK, March 13 ― Black barbershops are known as places to gather, socialise and get a haircut.
The study included 303 men with an average blood pressure of 154 (anything over 130 is considered high), and 52 barbershops across Los Angeles.
Some men were randomly assigned to meet with a trained pharmacist at each barbershop visit.
All the men had high blood pressure, defined as a systolic blood pressure over 140mm Hg based on multiple measurements taken on two different days.
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The researchers also pointed out an additional 3.5 million black men in the US are considered to have hypertension now that the ACC and American Heart Association have dropped the lower threshold to 130/80 mm Hg.
Among the men who only had access to information, blood pressure dropped by an average of nine points, compared to a 27-point drop for those who had face-to-face time with pharmacists. The rate of cohort retention in the intervention group was high (95%), and there were few adverse events. Almost two-thirds of patrons in this group brought their blood pressure down to a healthy number after six months.
Other men in the study did not see a barbershop pharmacist. "We believe that the relatively large intervention effect indicates that such implementation research is warranted". Diastolic blood pressured dropped by 4 mmHg in this group.
If employed on a broad scale, the approach could make major inroads in treating African-American men, a population that is more likely than other races to have high blood pressure ― a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke ― and less likely to be in a doctor's care, researchers said.
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For the patrons working with their barbers and pharmacist, systolic blood pressure (the first, or top, number) dropped from 153 mmHg at the start of the study to 126 mmHg after six months, along with a decrease in diastolic blood pressure (the second, or bottom, number) of 18 mmHg. "We can not fear what the doctor will tell us". Dr. Victor has a very honest desire to bring down blood pressure in people in general, and in black men in particular.
Victor said trust and rapport is essential because high blood pressure a chronic condition that requires ongoing care and lifestyle changes. Dr. Victor has a very honest desire to bring down blood pressure in people in general, and in black men in particular.
"Once you have hypertension, it requires a lifetime commitment to taking medications and making lifestyle changes", Victor said. "Since I could see his heart in this, it was easy for me to offer assistance". "With this program, we have been able to overcome that barrier". That study was of 17 Dallas barbershops.
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