Barber Shops Offering Blood Pressure Checks

Black men have the highest risk of developing high blood pressure in America. That's why this black-owned barber shop is offering blood pressure checks to help prevent heart attacks and strokes.

Trims and Blood Pressure Checks at Local Barbershops

Black men have the highest risk of developing high blood pressure in the U.S. to fight the problem; some barbershops in predominantly black communities are offering blood pressure health checks to prevent heart attacks and strokes. Eric Muhammad is the owner of A New You Barber & Beauty Salon in Inglewood, California.

“The problem with hypertension is it's the silent killer. So, you don't feel any symptoms. Knowing what your blood pressure is monumental in your effect of trying to bring your blood pressure down. Because if you don't know it's high, you don't know to bring it down. Clients are coming to the barber shop a lot more frequently than they're going to their doctor. Most clients, on average, would come to the barbershop at least twice a month, if not every week. No one sees their doctor that often. If black men knew that that was the number one cause of death, then maybe they would [check]. And it was something that was treatable, and is something that is easily treatable, something that's affordably treatable, something that's naturally treatable. I would hope that the mass majority of them would choose life over death.”

The death of filmmaker John Singleton from a stroke at 51 drew attention to the deadly impact of hypertension health. Singleton's family is urging members of the black community to check their blood pressure regularly. Muhammad first offered screenings as part of a program in L.A. by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the National Institutes of Health. Barbershops worked with pharmacists and doctors to lower the blood pressure of clients with hypertension.

Men treated under the program reduced their systolic blood pressure by an average of 20 points. Its success supports solution community relation-based approaches to health care.