- In a twelve-month follow-up study, reductions in systolic blood pressure observed at 6 months were sustained at one year.
Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT/ 5 a.m. ET, Mon. Dec. 17, 2018
DALLAS, Dec. 17, 2018 — African-American men participating in a blood pressure reduction program implemented in barbershops continued to have significant improvements in their blood pressure in a twelve-month follow-up study, according to research published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.
In the study led by Cedars-Sinai’s Smidt Heart Institute, 52 Los Angeles County barbershops were assigned to either a pharmacist-led intervention or an active control group. In the intervention group, barbers measured blood pressure and promoted follow-up with pharmacists who prescribed blood pressure medication under a collaborative practice agreement with study participants’ primary care providers. In the control group, barbers measured blood pressure and promoted follow-up only with primary care providers and lifestyle modification. At 6 months, the men in the intervention group had significant reductions in their blood pressure compared to those in the control group.
After six months, the intervention group continued the program, but had fewer in-person pharmacist visits to test if the intervention effect could be sustained safely for one year while reducing pharmacist travel time to and from barbershops.
When the study began, participants had an average systolic blood pressure of 152.4 mm Hg in the intervention group and 154.6 mm Hg in the control group. Systolic blood pressure is the top number in a blood pressure reading and it measures the pressure the blood exerts against the arteries while the heart is pumping.
At 12 months, the average systolic blood pressure fell by 28.6 mm Hg (to 123.8 mm Hg) in the intervention group and by 7.2 mm Hg (to 147.4 mm Hg) in the control group. The average reduction was 20.8 mm Hg greater with the intervention. These results are indistinguishable from the previously reported 6-month data, which were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The principal investigator for the study was the late Ronald G. Victor, M.D., associate director of the Smidt Heart Institute. In 2010, Victor became the first to prove, through randomized, controlled testing, that barbershop-based health programs could potentially save hundreds of lives annually by helping African American men lower their blood pressure.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences; UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute; the California Endowment the Lincy Foundation, the Harriet and Steven Nichols Foundation, the Burns and Allen Chair in Cardiology Research at the Smidt Heart Institute, and the Division of Community Relations and Development at Cedars–Sinai Medical Center funded the study.
- Available multimedia on right column of the release link - https://newsroom.heart.org/news/one-year-later-barbershop-intervention-continues-to-lower-blood-pressure?preview=cbda1288e1e3fc4e9486e4333cc28809
- After Dec. 17, view the manuscript online.
- High blood pressure and African-Americans
- Follow AHA/ASA news on Twitter @HeartNews
Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at http://www.heart.org/corporatefunding.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health, brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies, and share lifesaving resources and information. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.
For media inquiries and AHA/ASA expert perspective: 214-706-1173
Darcy Spitz, 212-878-5940; firstname.lastname@example.org
For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)