Personal approach reduces high blood pressure in black men

November 10, 1999

Personalized care and attention given by a research team can lower high blood pressure significantly in urban black men, researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing report.

Results of a two-year study of 309 hypertensive, urban African American men ages 18 to 54 show blood pressure control rates improved in this high-risk population by 105 percent. Results will be presented at 12:15 p.m., Nov. 10, at the American Heart Association's 72nd Annual Scientific Sessions in Atlanta.

"We can never underestimate the power of reaching out and offering attention," says Martha N. Hill, Ph.D., R.N., professor of nursing and principal investigator. "This study is especially significant because it targeted some of the most vulnerable black men who are at very high risk for the effects of uncontrolled blood pressure such as stroke, heart failure and kidney failure. Members of this population bear social, economic, environmental and educational burdens that make it difficult to participate in regular medical care or make behavioral changes for health improvement."

In the study, two levels of personalized care were tested. Half of the men received a more intensive care and outreach that included a home visit, free medication, hypertension education, transportation assistance and referrals. The other half were given hypertension education, and referrals to medical care and free health care in the community. Men in both groups received telephone interviews twice a year, annual evaluations of their heart and kidney function, and regular correspondence such as birthday and holiday cards. Surprisingly, researchers said, men in both groups had blood pressure control rates averaging 39 percent, topping the overall national control rate of 27 percent. Men who received the team intervention had a slightly higher improvement rate. Eighty-four percent of the men remained in the study for the entire two years.

The men in the more intensive intervention group received care from a team consisting of a nurse practitioner, a community health worker and a physician. The nurse practitioner managed blood pressure control, provided free medication and consulted with the physician. The community health worker assisted the men in getting housing or medical assistance and referred them to social services in the community.

The men in the group referred to care in the community increased their participation in care, and more men were taking high blood pressure medication than at the beginning of the study, Hill said.

"Sustaining improved blood pressure rates over time remains a complex challenge," says Hill. "Young urban black men have long been thought not to care about their health or participate in research studies. We have found that this is not true. Many said this was the first time they have been contacted by any health care organization and offered preventive services. Not only is this population interested in their health, but they want help and will accept help if it is provided in a sensitive and non-judgmental way that addresses their social, economic and environmental stresses."

The study was funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research (NIH), the National Center of Research Resources (NIH), WA Baum and Co. Inc., and Merck & Co.

Other authors of the study include Miyong Kim, Linda Rose, Cheryl Dennison (Hopkins School of Nursing), Roger Blumenthal, Gary Gerstenblith, David Levine, Wendy Post, James Weiss (Hopkins School of Medicine), and Lee Bone (Hopkins School of Public Health). Project director is Mary Roary (Hopkins School of Nursing).
-end-
Media contact: Kate Pipkin (410) 955-7552
E-mail: pipkin@son.jhmi.edu

Johns Hopkins Medicine

Related Health Articles from Brightsurf:

The mental health impact of pandemics for front line health care staff
New research shows the impact that pandemics have on the mental health of front-line health care staff.

Modifiable health risks linked to more than $730 billion in US health care costs
Modifiable health risks, such as obesity, high blood pressure, and smoking, were linked to over $730 billion in health care spending in the US in 2016, according to a study published in The Lancet Public Health.

New measure of social determinants of health may improve cardiovascular health assessment
The authors of this study developed a single risk score derived from multiple social determinants of health that predicts county-level cardiovascular disease mortality.

BU study: High deductible health plans are widening racial health gaps
The growing Black Lives Matter movement has brought more attention to the myriad structures that reinforce racial inequities, in everything from policing to hiring to maternal mortality.

Electronic health information exchange improves public health disease reporting
Disease tracking is an important area of focus for health departments in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

E-health resource improves men's health behaviours with or without fitness facilities
Men who regularly used a free web resource made significantly more health changes than men who did not, finds a new study from the University of British Columbia and Intensions Consulting.

Mental health outcomes among health care workers during COVID-19 pandemic in Italy
Symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and insomnia among health care workers in Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic are reported in this observational study.

Mental health of health care workers in china in hospitals with patients with COVID-19
This survey study of almost 1,300 health care workers in China at 34 hospitals equipped with fever clinics or wards for patients with COVID-19 reports on their mental health outcomes, including symptoms of depression, anxiety, insomnia and distress.

Health records pin broad set of health risks on genetic premutation
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Marshfield Clinic have found that there may be a much broader health risk to carriers of the FMR1 premutation, with potentially dozens of clinical conditions that can be ascribed directly to carrying it.

Attitudes about health affect how older adults engage with negative health news
To get older adults to pay attention to important health information, preface it with the good news about their health.

Read More: Health News and Health Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.