Black Men Are Getting Healthcare At Barbershops, And This Could Save Many Lives!

Black Men Are Getting Healthcare At Barbershops, And This Could Save Many Lives!

The study that the institute saw through was aimed at developing a blood pressure control program for African American men in the comfortable and convenient environments of their barbershops.

Cedars-Sinai’s Smidt Heart Institute recently got recognized by The Clinical Research for their study that was a bit unconventional.

The study that the institute saw through was aimed at developing a blood pressure control program for African American men in the comfortable and convenient environments of their barbershops. It was given the 2019 Top Ten Clinical Research Achievement Award last week. 



 

 

According to the LA Sentinal, the study only lasted for six short months, and it was published in New England Journal of Medicine after it was seen through by their lead hypertension expert Ronald G. Victor, MD. 

Reportedly, the study was able to improve the outcomes and the control of high blood pressure in more than 60 percent of the participants. 



 

 

 The 12-month data was published recently in the peer-reviewed journal. According to the LA Sentinal, the circulation backs up the results - which proves that a pharmacist-led, barbershop-based medical intervention can successfully lower blood pressure in African American men, who face a higher risk of disability and premature death due to uncontrolled high blood pressure. 



 

 

The study has a more community-based and cultural outlook towards the results and the approach to the development of the program.

When seen in effect, the collaboration between physicians, pharmacists and barbers showed that medical intervention in neighborhood settings can profoundly improve the health of hard-to-reach, underserved communities. Cedars-Sinai was nominated for the award by researchers at UCLA, the University of California, Los Angeles.

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“This esteemed award is a true honor for our institution and the medical team who was driven to change and improve outcomes for this at-risk community,” said Ravi Thadhani, MD, MPH, vice dean of Research and Education at Cedars-Sinai, who accepted the award recently at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. 

The Barbershop study was funded in part by a grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health and a CTSI grant from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. This study also sheds light on another alarming concern. Not only are black men disproportionately affected by hypertension,  they’re also the least likely population to seek treatment. 

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Barber Eric Muhammad says that’s one reason he was so enthusiastic about the study. He had hosted other single-day awareness events about hypertension, but Dr. Victor’s study aimed to find a long-term solution for treating high blood pressure.

“High blood pressure has cost the lives and health of a lot of good men,” Muhammad said. “What’s different about this study is it looks at bringing down blood pressure by using the men’s community—their friends, family, and support group.” 

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According to the LA Sentinal, the barbershop study is one of 10 award-winning studies identified by the Clinical Research Forum.

Winners must exemplify major advances, resulting from the nation’s investment in research, to benefit the health and welfare of its citizens, and reflect the influential work being conducted by investigators at nearly 60 research institutions and hospitals across the United States, as well as at partner institutions from around the world. All nominated studies were published in peer-reviewed journals between November 2017 and December 2018. 



 

 

The winners were reportedly selected based on the extent of innovation and novelty employed in the advancement of science, and the contribution to the understanding of human disease and/or physiology; also including the potential impact of the study upon diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of the disease. 

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Eduardo Marbán, MD, PhD director of the Smidt Heart Institute, noted that Victor was the first to prove that if barbers offered blood pressure checks during men’s haircuts and encouraged patrons with hypertension to follow up with physicians, hundreds of lives could be saved annually.  

“Not only do we miss Ron’s smile and smarts, but science is all the much poorer for his loss,” said Marbán. “Our institution will forever attempt to carry on his scientific ingenuity, passion for serving his community and commitment to advancing the field of clinical research. Right now, plans are underway to expand the barbershop study.”

Victor’s barbershop-based study was supported by Cedars-Sinai, the Smidt Heart Institute, National Institutes of Health grants to Dr. Victor. 

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