For Black Men, Haircuts Might Also Cut High Blood
TUESDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Offering black men blood
pressure checks while they're having their hair cut could help them
keep hypertension at bay, a new study finds.
This could be a new way to help reduce rates of uncontrolled
high blood pressure, one of the leading causes of premature
disability and death among black men in the United States.
"Compared with black women, men have less frequent physician contact for preventive care and thus substantially lower rates of hypertension detection, medical treatment and control," according to Dr. Ronald G. Victor, of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas at the time of the study, and now at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, and colleagues.
The study was conducted at 17 black-owned barbershops in Dallas
County, Texas between March 2006 and December 2008. Eight shops
were assigned to the intervention group and nine shops were
assigned to a comparison group.
The shops in the intervention group offered more than 600
hypertensive customers personalized health information and blood
pressure checks during their haircut. The shops in the comparison
group offered 695 hypertensive customers standard education
pamphlets about high blood pressure, but no tests.
The number of men who got their hypertension under control in
the intervention group increased almost 20 percent, from 33.8
percent at the start of the study to 53.7 percent at follow-up. The
rate in the comparison group increased about 11 percent, from 40
percent to 51 percent, the study authors found.
The rate of hypertension treatment also increased by about 11
percent in the intervention group and just over 6 percent in the
The study appears online and in the Feb. 28, 2011 print issue of
Archives of Internal Medicine.
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute offers a
lowering high blood pressure.
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