Earlier this year, Real Health reported on an health intervention implemented at barbershops that helped lower high blood pressure in Black men with uncontrolled hypertension after six months. Now, new findings published in the American Heart Association (AHA) journal Circulation reveal that the same program continued to significantly improve blood pressure among this population 12 months later, reports a press release from the AHA.

For the initial study by Cedars-Sinai’s Smidt Heart Institute, researchers enrolled 319 men with hypertension who patronized 52 Los Angeles County barbershops. (All had a systolic, or top number, blood pressure (BP) measurement that registered at least 140 mm Hg, considered elevated.) Scientists assigned either a pharmacist-led intervention or an active control group to these community businesses.

Barbers included in the intervention group measured the BP of men who took part in the inquiry and encouraged these volunteers to check in with the pharmacists, who prescribed hypertension medication under an agreement with their primary care providers.

Meanwhile, the barbers of clients in the control group assessed these men’s BP and suggested only that they follow up with primary care providers and implement lifestyle changes.

Findings showed that after six months, men in the intervention group saw significant improvements in their blood pressure compared with men in the control group.

At 12 months, even after those in the intervention group engaged in fewer in-person visits with the pharmacists for the second six month-period, researchers noted that the average systolic blood pressure decreased by 28.6 mm (to 123.8 mm Hg) compared with 7.2 mm Hg (to 147.4 mm Hg) for men in the control group.  

Click here to learn how hard-to-treat hypertension among Black adults may be linked to sleep apnea.