(HealthDay News) — A barbershop-based intervention can lead to significantly reduced blood pressure and sustained improvements over 1 year in black men, according to a study published online in Circulation.

Ronald G. Victor, MD, from the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, and colleagues enrolled 319 black male barbershop patrons with systolic BP ≥140 mm Hg at baseline. Fifty-two Los Angeles-area barbershops were assigned to either a pharmacist-led intervention (barbers promoted follow-up with pharmacists who prescribed BP medication under a collaborative practice agreement with patrons’ primary care providers [PCPs]) or an active control group (barbers promoted follow-up with PCPs and lifestyle modification).

The researchers found that during 12 months of follow-up, mean systolic BP dropped by 28.6 mm Hg in the intervention group and by 7.2 mm Hg in the control group. In the intervention group, 68% of men achieved a BP <130/80 vs 11% of the control group. Twelve-month efficacy data are statistically indistinguishable from 6-month pilot data. There were no treatment-related serious adverse events in either group, and participant retention was 90% in both groups for the full study duration.

“Broad-scale implementation research is both justified and warranted,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to Recor Medical.

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Victor RG, Blyler CA, Li N, et al.Sustainability of Blood Pressure Reduction in Black Barbershops. Circ. December 17, 2018.