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The Arkansas Minority Health Commission Hypertension Program is a program funded by the Arkansas legislature to develop and implement specific components of data collection, reporting, and program development for the Hypertension and Stroke Prevention and Education Program.
- The Marianna Examination Study on Hypertension (MESH) is a population-based representative household examination survey conducted in Lee County. MESH was developed to estimate the prevalence of undiagnosed hypertension, the prevalence of controlled and uncontrolled high blood pressure in those with diagnosed hypertension and the association of other cardiovascular disease risk factors with hypertension.
- The Six Step Method is a campaign in collaboration with the Department of Health, 'Know your Numbers' campaign. The Six Step Method campaign is designed to increase statewide awareness to the community and health professional population the importance of proper positioning in measuring blood pressure. AMHC offers on-site training and or in-services to those who are interested in doing blood pressure training or a refresher training. Individuals will be instructed on the proper sitting position and proper cuff size.
Aspects of the program that are specifically mentioned in the legislation include:
- To increase awareness of hypertension, strokes, and other disorders disproportionately critical to minorities;
- To provide screening or access to screening for hypertension, strokes, and other disorders disproportionately critical to minorities;
- To develop intervention strategies to decrease hypertension, strokes and other disorder, as well as associated complications;
- To develop and maintain a hypertension database that will include: biographical data, screening data, costs, and outcomes.
To achieve these goals, the Arkansas Minority Health Commission is funding a pilot outreach program in three counties in the Delta region of Arkansas, in collaboration with the Community Health Centers of Arkansas, to provide screenings for hypertension. Persons who have high blood pressure readings during the screening are referred back to their normal health care providers or to the local community health center if they do not have a normal health care provider, for further evaluation and treatment. Persons referred to the community health centers that are found to have hypertension and who meet certain financial qualifications can be enrolled in a program that provides a partial subsidy of costs for visits and treatment. All persons who participate in the community health centers are eligible to receive counseling services such as smoking cessation programs, exercise, weight loss and nutrition counseling, and alcohol cessation counseling, to help in promoting healthy lifestyles.
Future efforts of the Hypertension Program will include educational programs on clinical guidelines for treatment of hypertension, development of innovative research programs, new outreach initiatives, and new efforts to improve detection and promote treatment of hypertension.
- Hypertension in Arkansas - PDF
The Marianna Examination Survey on Hypertension (MESH), initiated in June 2005, is a population based representative household examination survey of blood pressure and cardiovascular disease risk factors in adults in Marianna, AR. MESH originated as an effort to assess the rate of hypertension, those at risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and stroke focusing on diagnosed as well as undiagnosed cases.
This project was accomplished through collaboration with Lee County Health Department, Lee Cooperative Clinic, Marianna Water Company, Mid-Delta Transportation, Arkansas Minority health Commission, Arkansas Department of Health and UAMS College of Public Health.
453 residents of the city of Marianna were surveyed and 248 gave blood and urine samples for analysis. We have completed preliminary analysis and presented the results in a community forum. This information will be utilized with the community to plan a community program to decrease cardiovascular disease and improve health.
MESH Fact Sheet 12-1-09 - PDF
Hypertension is more prevalent in African American than their Caucasian counter parts. The roots of hypertension begin in childhood. We know that the predictors of hypertension in adulthood are family history, obesity and childhood blood pressure. Additionally, Arkansas data has shown that the children who are overweight or at risk for overweight include Hispanic children and African American children.
Arkansas Minority Health Commission (AMHC) partnered with Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), Eleanor Mann School of Nursing and Springdale School District to screen for increased blood pressure in children between the ages of 8 to 17 in racially and ethnically diverse schools.
- The study population was grades 4th and 10th graders in 2 schools.
- Total number of students screened 475, of which 232 girls and 243 boys.
- 57% of 4th graders and 46%of 10th graders were overweight or at risk of being overweight.
- 25 students with increased blood pressure were identified during the first screening process.
- Students that were found to have persistently increased blood pressure were referred to health care providers.
- We are developing a How to Manual for others interested in implementing this project in their school or school district.
Screening Day Photos: