High blood pressure, which increases risk of heart disease and stroke, affects 1.13 billion people globally, according to the World Health Organization.
Those who met with the pharmacist monthly in their barbershop lowered their systolic blood pressure by 21mm Hg more, on average, compared with the other men, said the report published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
"By bringing state-of-the-art medicine directly to the people who need it on their home turf, in this case in a barbershop, and making it both convenient and rigorous, blood pressure can be controlled just as well in African-American men as in other groups", Victor said in a press release.
By the end of the study, the researchers found that the barbers' role in encouraging the men to monitor and improve their health resulted in a significant reduction in blood pressure, when coupled with medication from the pharmacists.
Their blood pressure dropped from 153 mmHg at the start of the study to 126 mmHg after six months.More news: Probation for student who rubbed tampon blood on Jamaican's bag
Medicines lowered his pressure to 125 over 95. After six months, nearly two-thirds of participants brought their blood pressure into the healthy range.
Victor et al. noted one of the limitations of their study is pharmacists targeted blood pressure below 130/80 mm Hg, while primary care providers for control-group participants may have used an in-office goal of 140/90. Their systolic blood pressure dropped from 155 mmHg at the start of the study to 145 mmHg after six months.
In participants assigned to the pharmacist-led program, the average reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure were 21.6 and 14.9 greater, respectively, than in those assigned to the control group, the researchers found. And after six months, 11.7 percent's blood pressure was in the healthy range.
"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. "The rapport I've been able to establish with this group of patients has been unlike any other I've had in my professional career".
"High blood pressure is a chronic illness that requires a lifetime commitment to medication and lifestyle modification", Victor said. "With this program, we have been able to overcome that barrier". "There's a relationship, a trust", said Eric Muhammad, owner of A New You Barbershop, one of the barbers who participated.More news: Xiaomi pushes MIUI 9 Stable Global ROM to all major devices
"It's the silent killer, and it has cost the lives and health of a lot of good men", he said.
Black men have high rates of high blood pressure a top reading over 130 or a bottom one over 80 and the problems it can cause, such as strokes and heart attacks. "What's different about this study is it looks at ways to effectively bring it down with the help of your friends, family and support group".
"It woke me up", said Sims, who has a young son. "We can not fear what the doctor will tell us". Dr. Ronald Victor, a cardiologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, wanted to reach black men. "Since I could see his heart in this, it was easy for me to offer assistance". "They asked me about my lifestyle, how I ate and everything - as opposed to my doctor". That study was of 17 Dallas barbershops.
In 2014, Victory was awarded an $8.5 million grant aimed at enlisting African-American barbers in the fight against hypertension.
Additionally, more research is needed to determine whether similar study results would occur on a national level, since the study was conducted only in the Los Angeles area. Only half of Americans with high pressure have it under control; many don't even know they have the condition.More news: Fussell Sells 56401 Shares of Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) Stock