Health & Science

Black Men’s Blood Pressure Is Cut Along With Their Hair

Corey Thomas works on a client at A New You barbershop in Inglewood, Calif., on March 9, 2018. (Heidi de Marco/KHN)

Amid the buzz of hair clippers and the beat of hip-hop, barber Corey Thomas squeezes in a little advice to the clients who come into his Inglewood, Calif., shop for shaves and fade cuts. Watch what you eat, he tells them. Check your blood pressure. Don’t take life so hard.

“We’re a high statistic for … hypertension and everything, and it’s something we let go by,” Thomas said as he worked at the shop, A New You, on Friday. “Our customers, they’ll talk to us before they talk to anybody else.”

And that can be good for their health. Thomas, who himself has high blood pressure, helped lead a group of customers as part of a study published Monday in the New England Journal of Medicine showing that providing information and inviting a pharmacist onsite can go a long way toward helping black men reduce their blood pressure.

The group, which met for about a year in 2016, included a once-a-week visit from the pharmacist, who prescribed blood pressure medicine and followed up with the customers to make sure they were taking it. A blood pressure machine installed in the barbershop sent patients’ readings directly to their doctors and to the pharmacist.

A New You barbershop in Inglewood, Calif., was part of a Cedars-Sinai Medical Center medical study to reduce blood pressure in black barbershops. (Heidi de Marco/KHN)

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.



Haitian Times

Haitian Times

The Haitian Times was founded in 1999 as a weekly English language newspaper based in Brooklyn, NY.The newspaper is widely regarded as the most authoritative voice for Haitian Diaspora.
Haitian Times
April 2, 2018

ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “Black Men’s Blood Pressure Is Cut Along With Their Hair”

  1. Cindy says:

    It was on May 18th, 2017 when I was diagnosed with high blood pressure. At first, I took it lightly but on the second check-up, my meds were increased. This was when it I knew that I had to do something. If things persisted, in the same way, I was either to die of heart attack or even worse stroke. Luckily I came across Mary’s Blood Pressure Treatment Story (google ” How I Helped My Friend Cured Hypertension “). Th. I was hesitant at first but desperation drove me to try out the program. To my surprise, everything worked out perfectly and after just 2 weeks I had managed to lose some weight and get my blood pressure down to a manageable level. In my next clinic, my doctor reduced my meds significantly and I know she will do the same in my next follow up clinic. And, that’s not all; I can do away with the meds and try out natural methods like Mary did.

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