Abstract 522: HEALS Program Implementation in African American Churches for Hypertension Control and Prevention
African Americans (AAs) living in the “Stroke Belt” (Southeastern US including northern Florida) are at elevated risk for stroke. Our long-term goal is to eliminate this ethnic/regional health disparities by targeting a major modifiable risk factor for stroke, hypertension (HTN). Here we present the results of HEALS (Healthy Eating And Living Spiritually)- a faith-based, socio-culturally tailored HTN control intervention modified from PREMIER and DASH programs for AA churches.
Methods: 4 church members were trained as program leaders who delivered the 3-months intervention followed by 9 months booster sessions. AA Church members of 25-75 yrs of age with known or newly diagnosed HTN (including pre-HTN as per JNC-VII) were recruited, who received HEALS program.
Results: AAs with known (84%) or newly diagnosed HTN (16%) joined the program. Majority (80%) were on anti-HTN drugs. At the baseline, only three (8%) had HTN controlled (>120/80 mm Hg), 13 (35%) had pre-HTN levels, 15 (40.5%) were stage 1 and 6 (16%) in Stage 2. After receiving 12 wks HEALS sessions, mean reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure were -13.64 mm Hg (p =0.005) and -6.12 mm Hg (p=0.01) respectively. The study is currently in maintenance phase.
Conclusion: If successful, the findings from this study will provide much-needed information on the translation and sustainability of evidence-based lifestyle modification in HTN members in community-based settings, particularly within churches, which represent the most influential institution in the community lives of AA
- © 2013 by American Heart Association, Inc.