Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Barbers: Cut, Shave, Lower Your Blood Pressure

[Editor Flahiff comment : this press release  reminds me of an article I read about 20 years ago. Beauticians were trained to refer clients to social service/health agencies when hearing their clients talk about issues touching on abuse and other safety and health issues]

 

From an October 25 Reuters Health press release

By Alison McCook

EW YORK (Reuters Health) – Black men with hypertension appear to benefit from regular blood pressure checks and advice from a somewhat unlikely source – their barbers.

A new study finds that training barbers to check their patrons’ blood pressure, offer advice and anecdotes, and even help refer the clients to a doctor if they don’t have one, appears to help men get their blood pressure under control.

Nationwide, barbershops are increasingly becoming a source of health information and a locus for health outreach, according to the authors led by Dr. Ronald G. Victor, associate director of Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in California, and this study shows it is a type of intervention that can work.

“It’s a proof-of-concept study,” Victor told Reuters Health.

Millions of African-American men have high blood pressure, and most do not have it under control – putting them at risk of serious illness and death. Barbershops are community gathering spots for black men, some of whom have been clients for years, visiting once every three to four weeks. As a result, some researchers have asked: Why not work health information into the cut and shave?

In the current study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, Victor and his team asked patrons of 17 black-owned barbershops in Dallas County, Texas, to be screened for hypertension. They found that 45 percent of the shops’ clientele had hypertension, but only 38 percent of the men had brought their blood pressure down to a safe level….

[Editor Flahiff’s note: This article is only available online through paid subscription. Check with a local medical, academic, or public library for availability. The library may charge a fee for access or for a copy. It would be wise to call ahead and ask a reference librarian for details]

October 27, 2010 - Posted by | Consumer Health | ,

1 Comment »

  1. Great info! I’ll be sure to use what you’re saying here in my daily practice. Thanks!

    Comment by Nicole Larissa, Health Practitioner | November 4, 2010 | Reply


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