Black men in the United States can now approach their neighborhood barber for a blood pressure check. A new study finds that offering blood pressure checks while they're having their hair cut could help them keep hypertension at bay. Maximum case of premature death and disability due to hypertension is reported from black Americans.

According to Dr. Ronald G. Victor, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas at the time of the study, and now at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, and colleagues black men have less frequent physician contact for preventive care then the black women. This leads to very low rates of hypertension detection, medical treatment and control.

The study was conducted at 17 black-owned barbershops in Dallas County, Texas between March 2006 and December 2008, divided by both intervention and comparison group. The intervention group offered customers personalized health information and blood pressure checks during their haircut. The shops in the comparison group offered standard education pamphlets about high blood pressure during haircuts.

The response to the study was impressive as the men who got their hypertension under control in the intervention group increased almost 20 percent, 33.8 percent at the start of the study to 53.7 percent at follow-up. The rate in the comparison group also increased about 11 percent, from 40 percent to 51 percent, the study found.Also, the rate of hypertension treatment increased by about 11 percent in the intervention group as the comparison group reported 6 per cent.