Studies Examine Uncontrolled Blood Pressure Among Black Men, Breast Cancer Recurrence Among Black Women
- "Underserved Urban African-American Men: Hypertension Trial Outcomes and Mortality During Five Years," American Journal of Hypertension: Researchers from the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing analyzed the effectiveness of interventions by health professionals in helping urban black men control high blood pressure. They studied the use of intensive educational, behavioral and pharmacologic intervention provided by a nurse practitioner, community health worker or physician team or a less-intensive intervention among 309 urban men ages 21 to 54 who had high blood pressure. Diagnostic tests also were evaluated. According to the study, both interventions resulted in more men controlling their blood pressure (Dennison et al., American Journal of Hypertension, February 2007).
- "Sociocultural Predictors of Breast Cancer Risk Perceptions in African-American Breast Cancer Survivors," Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention: A majority of black women who are breast cancer survivors and have an increased risk for hereditary breast cancer do not believe they have an higher chance of developing the cancer again, according to the study. For the study, lead researcher Chanita Hughes Halbert, assistant professor of psychiatry and director of the Community and Minority Cancer Control Program at University of Pennsylvania's Abramson Cancer Center, and colleagues surveyed 95 black women who had a personal and family history of breast cancer that was suggestive of hereditary disease, had been treated for the disease with either lumpectomy or mastectomy, and had one intact breast. All the women could participate in genetic counseling, which can find if a woman has one of two genetic mutations that are linked to an increased breast cancer risk. Fifty-three percent of respondents said they believed they had the same or a lower risk of developing breast cancer again as other women, while 47% believed that they had a higher risk. Researchers found that participants with more education were significantly more likely to believe they had higher risk of recurrence. They also found that women who thought about their past experiences with breast cancer were about three times more likely to report that a perceived high risk of developing breast cancer again. Researchers recommended increased education during genetic counseling for black breast cancer survivors (American Association for Cancer Research release, 2/15).