The Gilmer Mirror – Black Men s Blood Pressure Is Cut Along With Their Hair

Researchers found that after six months, the men who received both the education from their barbers and the drug therapy from the pharmacists were more likely to see their blood pressure drop to a healthier level and remain under control than the comparison group that received only information and encouragement to see their doctors.

Nearly two-thirds of the men who got the drug therapy achieved a healthy blood pressure of less than 130/80 mm Hg, while only about 12 percent of the second group did.

“We all expected the intervention to be effective, but I don’t think any of us could have predicted the magnitude of the effect we ultimately saw,” said pharmacist Ciantel Adair Blyler, one of the co-authors of the study, who visited 10 different barbershops in Inglewood, Compton, Bellflower and Long Beach. She went to each shop once a week for a year to see patients, she said.

A team of pharmacists, along with physicians from several medical centers in Southern California, conducted the study at 52 Los Angeles-area barbershops with an $8.5 million federal grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

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