Wayne State awarded millions in order to battle hypertension in Detroit

Wayne State University has been awarded millions of dollars to study high blood pressure in Detroit residents. 

The new project will deploy mobile health clinics to Detroit neighborhoods over the next four years to better understand the factors that contribute to hypertension in residents. 

It's part of a $20 million initiative to better understand the health disparities between Black and White Americans. 

The plan is to identify health plans for residents with high blood pressure and help cultivate a personal regiment that will coach them toward a healthier lifestyle. 

Data collected from these plans will better help researchers understand what role environmental factors contribute in the overall health outcome of Detroiters. 

Wayne State will be using $2.6 million for the program.

A professor of emergency medicine at Wayne State that is leading the program says access to health care, food insecurity, availability of healthy food, shelter, and exercise are all major factors in high blood pressure.

"To achieve health equity, effective strategies must address negative (social determinants of health) that are root causes of racial disparities in health," said Dr. Phillip Levy. 

Health workers tracking the personalized plans of people with hypertension will compare data with people in the same community with hypertension but weren't given personalized health plans. Researchers anticipate those receiving care will have better control of their blood pressure. 

Called the Linkage, Empowerment, and Access to Prevent Hypertension (LEAP-HTN) program, it starts on Oct. 1.

Levy said that while lifestyle changes could better improve the health outcomes for people with high blood pressure, implementing these changes has not been easy.