The three-year program, which will also launch in Atlanta, stems from the high prevalence of hypertension among the black population in the U.S. According to Kaiser Permanente, more than 40 percent of the country’s black population has hypertension, with disproportionate rates among younger individuals.
Kaiser, which is supporting the initiative with a $2.55 million grant, said untreated high blood pressure contributes to rates of kidney failure, strokes and heart attacks in the black population that exceed the U.S. average by a substantial margin.
“In the scheme of what we can do to address preventable heart disease, strokes and other health problems, taking on and bringing down uncontrolled high blood pressure can prevent heart disease and strokes and save lives,” said the heart association’s Deputy Chief Science Officer Dr. Eduardo Sanchez.
Kaiser and the association said the program will foster collaboration among clinics, health care providers, community organizations and volunteer health mentors to help decrease the burden of what they call a “silent killer.” The aim is to create a model that can be replicated in cities across the country.
The goal of the program is to help African American patients track their blood pressure readings, share results with their caregivers and physicians, and monitor their progress over time. According to Kaiser, regular blood pressure checks are a key component of the program because hypertension often does not have symptoms.
– City News Service
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