Interesting Article: “Barbershops Help Black Men Lower Their Blood Pressure”

I want to share an interesting article I found on the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) website titled, “Barbershops Help Black Men Lower Their Blood Pressure”. The author, Mark Sampson, M.S., Technical Writer-Editor, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), shared information regarding an NHLBI-funded study, which found that barbershops paired with pharmacists helped lower blood pressure in a group of black men, who are at high risk for hypertension.

As stated in the article:

“The program was the centerpiece of an NHLBI-funded study led by researchers at the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. It involved placing pharmacists at African-American-owned barbershops so they could monitor the customers with high blood pressure and prescribe medications. The barbers also were trained to measure blood pressure. 

Researchers enrolled 319 African-American men, ages 35 to 79, who had high blood pressure and who were regulars at one of 52 black-owned barbershops in the Los Angeles area. They randomly assigned the men to one of two groups: an intervention group that was encouraged by their barbers to meet with pharmacists who made “house calls” to the barbershops and prescribed blood pressure medications, or a control group that simply got encouragement from their barbers to make lifestyle changes and doctor appointments. The pharmacists worked in collaboration with the intervention group participants’ doctors.

After six months, 63 percent of the men who worked with the pharmacists achieved a healthy blood pressure level, while only 12 percent of the men in the control group did so.”

I urge all men to be aware of their health status, including their blood pressure; however, more so, black men need to be keenly alert to their numbers, given that we have the highest levels of high blood pressure of any racial, ethnic, or sex group in the United States.