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Barbershop Blood Pressure Checks May Save Lives

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The best health care does not always have to be in a doctor’s office.

There is a very interesting project that was conducted between the CDC and the Mississippi State Department of Health. Blood pressure checks were conducted at barbershops in the Mississippi delta region, where heart disease and strokes are a huge problem.

Health workers trained barbers in 14 barbershops located in African-American neighborhoods deeply affected by heart disease to take their patrons’ blood pressures. The results and potential for treatment were dramatic: more than a third of the men had undiagnosed hypertension, and another half were on their way to developing high blood pressure.

Only one in three people had a primary care doctor and these people were offered treatment and follow up.

Truly a lifesaving proposition.

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