Church communities boost efforts to lower African-Americans’ blood pressure, study finds

Both groups had their blood pressure measured at the start of the program, six months after it began and nine months from the start.

The MINT-TLC group had a systolic blood pressure reduction of 16.53 mmHg after six months; members of the health education group had a systolic blood pressure reduction of 10.74. This culminated in a net reduction of 5.8 mmHg. The MINT-TLC drop had shrunk to 5.3 by nine months, but this was still clinically significant, according to Ogedegbe, who is also director of NYU Langone’s Center for Healthful Behavior Change.

Hoyte-Badu’s church was one of the first to become involved in the project.

Dr. Olugbenga Ogedegbe, second from right, demonstrates the proper technique for taking blood pressure readings at a church in New York.

She said she wanted to bring the project there because of the prevalence of high blood pressure and her own experience with family members who had hypertension.

“I thought it would be great to work with a program that would help people dealing with the condition lower their high blood pressure and just give them skills to help their health overall,” she said.

In her role as a health adviser, Hoyte-Badu was trained to lead sessions on topics such as how to lower blood pressure and set goals to improve health. She and two other advisers from her church also followed up with participants in the months after the intervention.

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