LA hospital to train barbers in hypertension tests

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A physician at a Los Angeles hospital will use an $8.5 million grant to help train barbers in black neighborhoods to check their male customers for high blood pressure.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center said Wednesday the project would start with a study involving about 500 men who frequent 20 LA-area barber shops, with an eye toward expanding the program.

Dr. Ronald G. Victor, head of the hospital's hypertension center, says uncontrolled hypertension is one of the biggest health problems facing the African-American community. Victor published a study in 2011 showing that barber shop-based outreach could help save hundreds of lives.

Victor's grant comes from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

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