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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (July 26, 2013) -- The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH), community partners and numerous volunteers will host the Arkansas Minority Barber & Beauty Shop Health Initiative on Saturday, July 27, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at locally owned minority barber and beauty shops, colleges and salons in Pulaski County.

Free blood pressure checks, blood glucose, body mass index, cholesterol screenings and other health information will be available to customers and employees.

Participating salons and barber shops include:
Moore Than Enough Salon, Sherwood
Lois & Ray's Salon, Little Rock
New Image Salon, Spa & Barber, North Little Rock
New Tyler Barber College, North Little Rock
Velvatex College of Beauty Culture, Little Rock
Dazzling Creations Salon, Little Rock
Salon de Belleza Patricia, Little Rock
Panache Beauty & Barber Salon, North Little Rock
Washington Barber College, Little Rock
Trinity Salon, Little Rock

The mission of the Arkansas Minority Barber & Beauty Shop Health Initiative is to increase public awareness about heart disease and stroke in Arkansas's African American and Latino populations in a convenient location. This initiative will incorporate Million Hearts™, which promotes the "ABCS" of heart disease and stroke prevention:
Appropriate Aspirin Therapy for those who need it
Blood Pressure Control
Cholesterol Management
Smoking Cessation

"Barber and beauty shops are important and trusted information sources within the minority community,"" Michelle Smith, PhD, MPH, Director of the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities at ADH said. "We want to reduce the high blood pressure and stroke rates in Arkansas so the more people talk about this with their friends, family, neighbors and clients, the more lives we can save. This is what public health is all about."

African Americans are most affected by heart disease and stroke, which greatly contributes to lower life expectancy. In 2009 and 2010, African American adults in the U.S. were 32 percent more likely to have high blood pressure compared to whites and 4 percent more likely than whites to have their blood pressure under control. In addition, in 2010, heart disease and stroke rates for African Americans in Arkansas were 22 percent higher than whites and 71 percent higher than Latinos. Arkansas currently has the highest stroke death rate and sixth highest cardiovascular disease death rate in the nation.

You can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke by maintaining a healthy weight, eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables, reducing the amount of salt in your food, getting regular exercise and not smoking.

Community sponsors and partners include: Arkansas Minority Health Commission; Arkansas Medical, Dental and Pharmaceutical Association; Arkansas Heart Association; Arkansas State Board of Barber Examiners; Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care; Baptist Health; Hola! Media Group and Tropical Smoothie.

For more information about the Arkansas Minority Barber & Beauty Shop Health Initiative, visit www.healthy.arkansas.gov or call 501-661-2958.

(Source: Arkansas Department of Health)

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