(HealthDay News) — A therapeutic lifestyle change (TLC) intervention plus motivational interviewing (MINT) sessions delivered in churches can reduce systolic blood pressure (BP) among blacks compared with health education (HE) alone, according to a study published online in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Antoinette M. Schoenthaler, EdD, from the New York University School of Medicine in New York City, and colleagues examined the comparative effectiveness of a TLC intervention plus MINT sessions versus HE alone on BP among black adults with uncontrolled hypertension. Data were obtained for 373 participants with self-reported diagnosis of hypertension and uncontrolled BP from 32 New York City churches.

The researchers found a greater systolic BP reduction of 5.79 mmHg for the MINT-TLC intervention compared with the HE group at six months (P=0.029). The treatment effect on systolic BP persisted at nine months, although significance was attenuated (5.21 mmHg; P=0.068). At 6 months, the between-group differences in diastolic BP reduction (0.41 mmHg) and mean arterial pressure (2.24 mmHg) were not significant. Greater BP control was seen with the MINT-TLC intervention than in the HE group at 9 months, although the difference was not significant (57 vs 48.8%; odds ratio, 1.43; 95% confidence interval, 0.9 to 2.28).

“A community-based lifestyle intervention delivered in churches led to significantly greater reduction in systolic BP in hypertensive blacks compared with HE alone,” the authors write.

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Schoenthaler AM, Lancaster KJ, Chaplin W, et al. Cluster Randomized Clinical Trial of FAITH (Faith-Based Approaches in the Treatment of Hypertension) in Blacks Main Trial Results. Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. 2018;11:e004691.

Sussman JB and Heisler M. Of Barbershops and Churches: Can Community-Based Interventions Improve Cardiovascular Risk in High-Risk Patients? Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. 2018;11:e005149