Barbershop Intervention Reduced Blood Pressure in Hypertensive Black Men

Ronald G. Victor, MD

A good haircut can make you feel like a new man, and in this case, also help you manage your blood pressure.Black men have the highest rate of death related to hypertension in the US—coupled with a lower rate of physician interaction and control of hypertension compared to their female counterparts. But scaling up medical intervention in the barbershop, with barbers promoting follow-up for their patrons and monthly check-ins from a pharmacist resulting in high rates of retention and a mean of 27.0 mmHg decrease in systolic blood pressure.

“By bringing state-of-the-art medicine directly to the people who need it on their home turf, in this case in a barbershop, and making it both convenient and rigorous, blood pressure can be controlled just as well in African-American men as in other groups,” Ronald G. Victor, MD, the associate director of the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai Hospital and the study’s lead author, said. “If this model was scaled up and sustained, millions of lives could be saved, and many heart attacks and strokes could be prevented.”

Presented at the 67th American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions in Orlando, Florida, the study sought to develop an effective intervention to link health promotion by barbers to drug intervention by pharmacists. The primary outcome was the change in systolic blood pressure at 6 months.

The target blood pressure mark was <130/80 mmHg, in compliance with the new AHA/ACC guidelines of 2017.

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