Background Information

Can a culturally relevant peer group approach to prevention reduce health risks for African American men?

Forty five percent of African American men have high blood pressure; and cardiovascular disease is a leading killer of African American men, accounting for 31.7 percent of deaths annually. This feasibility study will test a new model for prevention and health promotion, delivering health information and fostering peer accountability and support among small groups of men ages 40 to 70 years old. The peer group model of six to eight members is based on a generations-old model found to sustain well-being in Okinawa, Japan. The one-year pilot study, which is being conducted in partnership with the National USA Foundation, Inc. will be conducted at two Baptist churches to inform the development of a program to affect enduring lifestyle changes. The model has been designed to be replicated nation-wide in an effort to reduce risks and deaths from cardiovascular disease among African American men.