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PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
3-Jun-2014

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Contact: Michael Burton
michael.burton@heart.org
214-706-1236
American Heart Association

Community program helps lower blood pressure among minorities

American Heart Association meeting report abstract 200

Minorities at a higher risk of developing hypertension used a community-based program to significantly lower their blood pressure, researchers said at the American Heart Association's Quality of Care and Outcomes Research 2014 Scientific Sessions.

Minorities at a higher risk of developing hypertension used a community-based program to significantly lower their blood pressure, researchers said at the American Heart Association's Quality of Care and Outcomes Research 2014 Scientific Sessions.

Researchers assessed the use of the American Heart Association's Check. Change. Control. program in 18 urban, predominately African-American communities with a high rate of high blood pressure.

The 4,069 participants used the program over four months in 2013 in churches, workplace wellness facilities, healthcare centers and housing centers.

Researchers found that those who checked their blood pressure more frequently had the largest drop in blood pressure. The programs that included blood pressure monitoring kits, blood pressure checks during activities like walking clubs and cooking classes and volunteers who led activities had the best results.

"This program capitalizes on local resources that can bring about change in behavior and improve blood pressure rates," said Monique Anderson, M.D., lead researcher of the study and a medical instructor in cardiology at the Duke Clinical Research Institute and the Duke School of Medicine in Durham, N.C. "As participants became more knowledgeable, they probably started exercising more, taking their medication more, and those who were really engaged showed dramatic responses in blood pressure change."

They also found:

While each community could design some elements of their program, they had certain factors in common that are easy to replicate and implement:

About 78 million people in the United States have high blood pressure. It's called the silent killer because it typically has no symptoms. Some populations, including African-Americans, have higher risks of developing high blood pressure.

"Check. Change. Control. is remarkable because of its size and scope and its impact on public health," said Eric Peterson, M.D., M.P.H., principal investigator. "But rather than just being satisfied with success, we're trying to understand which parts of the program were most effective so we can improve it as it is expanded to the rest of the nation."

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Co-authors are Emily O'Brien, Ph.D.; Nancy Allen-Lapointe, Pharm. D.; Rachel Peragallo Urrutia, M.D., M.Sc.; Angel M. Alexander, M.S.P.H.; Alexander J. Christian, B.S.P.H.; Lisa McCoy, M.S.; Juliana Crawford, Ba.Sc.; Laura M. Webb, B.S.; Paramita Saha Chaudhuri, Ph.D.; Patrick Wayte, MBA; Eric D. Peterson, M.D., M.P.H. Author disclosures are on the abstract.

The American Heart Association and Duke Clinical Research Institute funded the study.

Additional Resources:

NOTE: Presentation is 3:00 p.m. CT/4:00 p.m. ET Tuesday, June 3, 2014.

Statements and conclusions of study authors presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association's policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at http://www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

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