October 28, 2010

Texas Barbers Cutting More Than Just Hair

Posted in Heart Disease in the News, New Heart Studies tagged , , , , , , , at 11:37 pm by keepyourhearthealthy

image via wikipedia

A new study that was published this week in Archives of Internal Medicine had African-American barbers testing blood pressure at the time of a haircut.

The American Heart Association has been targeting African American populations for improved blood pressure control for many years now.  African American people are more likely to have high blood pressure resulting in heart attacks and strokes.  A novel, grassroots idea developed into a study using 17 barbershops in Dallas County, TX.  The barbers were paid to do blood pressure checks and then told to refer people to the doctor when the patient’s blood pressure was up.

When compared to people who did not have their blood pressure checked at the barber, the barbershop patrons ended up having lower blood pressures by the end of the study.  So, not only were the barbers cutting hair, but they were also cutting people’s risk of heart attack and stroke!

The funniest part about this story is that the study’s lead investigator, Dr. Ronald Victor, got a taste of his own medicine during the trial.  He was training one of the barbers by posing as a pretend patient when it was discovered that the good doctor himself had high blood pressure!  After some convincing from the barber, Dr. Victor admitted that his pressure was too high and therefore needed to take medicine himself.  Apparently, if it weren’t for the barber, Dr. Victor would have continued to avoid controlling his blood pressure altogether…

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1 Comment

  1. Bob said,

    Sounds like a great idea. Hopefully, it will catch on.


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