Intervention improves control of high blood pressure in young inner-city black men

In East Baltimore's inner city, a group of hypertensive young African-American men gained control of their high blood pressure, thanks to a comprehensive intervention conducted at the community level by a multidisciplinary health care team. Forty-four percent of the men receiving the intensive form of the intervention attained control after three years, whereas at the study's start, only 17 percent had control.

Conducted by The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, the research is described in an article entitled "Hypertension Care and Control in Underserved Urban African American Men: Behavioral and Physiologic Outcomes at 36 Months, " which appears in the November issue of The American Journal of Hypertension. The study was funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Health and Human Services.

Over one in four Americans has high blood pressure. The number of cases is nearly 40 percent higher for African Americans than Caucasians, and the effects of hypertension are more frequent and severe. African Americans may also experience greater organ damage resulting from the condition. Young African American men in particular have the lowest rates of awareness, treatment and control of hypertension of any population group in the United States. These men's low socioeconomic status and higher risk factors such as obesity, smoking, and alcohol and drug use contribute to the high incidence of hypertension and the lack of its control.

According to principal investigator Martha N. Hill, PhD, RN, Dean of the School of Nursing, "To my knowledge, until now no hypertension studies have targeted high-risk, young urban African American men, who are underserved by the health care system.

We found that in many cases, participation in our study was the first time some of the men had contact with formal health care. They were pleased to be part of the research and to imp

Contact: Linda Cook
NIH/National Institute of Nursing Research

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