We strive to prevent hypertension, especially in our younger generations, by combining modern science and traditional community knowledge
American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders experience more risk factors for heart disease and related complications than other racial groups in the United States.
But we have promising news. As researchers learn more about preventing and managing hypertension and other risk factors for heart disease and stroke, we improve our ability to help Native populations reduce their risk of these chronic illnesses.
Intervention project highlights:
Blood Pressure-Improving Control among Alaska Native People (BP-ICAN)
- At-home blood pressure monitoring equipment provided to participants.
- Educational materials and text messages encouraging the achievement and maintenance of a heart-healthy lifestyle.
- Tools and resources to assist participants in communicating about heart health with their healthcare providers.
Chickasaw Healthy Eating Environments Research Study (CHEERS)
- The innovative “Packed Promise for a Healthy Heart” program provides home delivery of food boxes containing ingredients approved by Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) to prepare healthy low-salt and traditional Chickasaw meals.
- Vouchers improve community access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Heart-healthy recipes tailored to traditional Chickasaw diet and culture are available at getfreshcooking.com.
- An interactive, culturally informed mobile walking app, “AYA Homeland Journey,” which was developed by the Chickasaw Nation, is provided (AYA means “to go or to journey” in the Chickasaw language).
- A Fitbit fitness tracker is also provided to use with the AYA Homeland Journey app.
Engaging Native Hawaiians & Pacific Islanders and Activating Communities to Take Steps (ENACTS)
- Peer-facilitated educational classes emphasizing heart-healthy eating; traditional Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander foods; physical activity; and social support.
- A weekly credit for online grocery shopping.
- A smartphone app for participants to track their physical activity.
- Community-driven awareness campaigns in local grocery stores, encouraging heart-healthy food choices.
This work is supported by grant U54 MD011240 – funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities
Website photos provided by Krystal Koop