October 5, 2018

CTSA Program Researchers Partner with Barbershops to Cut High Blood Pressure

By Miguel Valdez Soto

When is a haircut more than a haircut? When it’s also the first step to cutting high blood pressure.

Black men are more likely to die from complications of high blood pressure than any other group in the U.S. To tackle this disparity, researchers from the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), are pairing pharmacists with barbershops to offer high blood pressure care for customers. The results from a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (link is external) show this approach can dramatically lower blood pressure.

“If we could expand and maintain this kind of blood pressure reduction for years, it would prevent an enormous number of strokes and heart attacks,” said Ronald Victor, M.D., a cardiologist and the director of the Hypertension Center in the Smidt Heart Institute. Victor led the six-month study with other investigators at UCLA’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), an NCATS Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program hub.

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