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The Tennessee Tribune: Barbershops Targeted to Improve Health of Black Men

The Tennessee Tribune recently featured a research collaboration between Cedars-Sinai and Vanderbilt University Medical Center to study whether it is effective to treat African American men with high blood pressure at their local barbershop.

The study in Tennessee is modeled after several pioneering studies led by the late Cedars-Sinai hypertension specialist Ronald G. Victor, MD. Victor was the first to scientifically prove that hypertension healthcare provided in convenient neighborhood settings could have a positive impact on the African American community, which has higher rates of hypertension, hypertension complications and death.

Victor’s most recent study, published in 2018 in The New England Journal of Medicine, showed 60% of participants across a network of 60 barbershops brought their high blood pressure into normal ranges within six months.

In Nashville, patrons from eight local barbershops who have uncontrolled hypertension will be invited to enroll in the study, where they will meet with a study pharmacist in the barbershop on a regular basis for six months. A study physician will also be available for patrons who require additional support.

Because barbers are often seen as mentors and have longstanding relationships with their regular patrons, researchers hope their advocacy for the project will lead to earlier identification of hypertension.

According to Jamal Stewart, owner of Masters Barbershop, one of the project’s eight participating Nashville barbershops, the project is important for helping to fill a gap in health care that affects many of his clients.

“I chose to participate in this project because I can see a true need for hypertension awareness,” Stewart told The Tennessee Tribune. “A considerable amount of people in our community are unaware of their condition. I am looking forward to the healing process by giving people a chance to educate themselves and the tools to combat hypertension.”

Click here to read the complete article from The Tennessee Tribune

Read more on the Cedars-Sinai Blog: Barbershop-Based Study Lowers Blood Pressure in Black Men