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Initiative launched to combat hypertension in Detroit

 Man Measuring Arterial Blood Pressure At Home
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A new heart health initiative will start this month in Detroit. It is a collaboration of UnitedHealth Group, the Detroit Association of Black Organizations (DABO), and Resolve to Save Lives (RTSL).

A new heart health initiative will start this month in Detroit. It is a collaboration of UnitedHealth Group, the Detroit Association of Black Organizations (DABO), and Resolve to Save Lives (RTSL).

Hypertension is more commonly known as high blood pressure.

"One out of four Black adults in the U.S. has uncontrolled hypertension and is therefore at great and preventable risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, and other serious health problems ," said Dr. Tom Frieden, President of RTSL and a former director of the CDC. "Improved blood pressure control can save more lives than any other clinical intervention. We must scale up simple, fast, and sustainable community-based integrated care models, such as this one, to control hypertension and reduce health disparities."

"Hypertension is the leading driver of the shorter life expectancy of Black Americans than white Americans in this country," Frieden said.

The new initiative will use a community-oriented approach to identify and treat undiagnosed or uncontrolled hypertension in Detroit. It will use medically-supervised health care workers and technology based protocols. The delivery model will include going into people's homes and will diminish the need for office visits. All participants will receive kits to self-monitor their own blood pressure.

"The program will be one-on-one continuous care, monitoring on a daily basis how they're succeeding with controlling their blood pressure, and then making adjustments in medication, diet, and exercise," said Rev. Horace Sheffield III, executive director of DABO.

Sheffield said nearly half of adults in Detroit have hypertension.

Participation in the new program is free.

Enrollment will occur in places of worship and the wellness center operated by DABO.

The program is open to residents of Detroit and Wayne County.

People interested in participating are encouraged to contact DABO at 313-491-0003.

Virginia Gordan has been a part-time reporter at Michigan Radio since fall 2013. She has a general beat covering news topics from across the state.
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