The American Heart Association, has awarded $20 million in grants to five research teams, including researchers at the UAB Schools of Medicine and Public Health, to find new solutions for preventing high blood pressure. The research projects, under the RESTORE (AddREssing Social Determinants TO pRevent hypErtension) Network, will focus on hypertension prevention in underserved populations with historically the highest prevalence of this condition.
The UAB team, led by Andrea Cherrington, MD, MPH, professor in the Division of Preventive Medicine, will work with 16 churches in rural Alabama where they will recruit black adults with elevated blood pressure who have not treated for hypertension to take part in one of two interventions. People from eight of the churches will receive group health education and computer tablets to access online cooking shows and exercise classes. People in the other eight churches will receive group health education, access to online cooking shows and exercise classes, plus peer support from a trained community health worker to help set and meet diet and physical activity goals. Churches will also receive funding for community-level interventions to promote healthy foods and physical activity opportunities.