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Advocacy Campaign for Hypertension in African American Population


Nowadays, people are affected by many health risks which deprive them of the possibility to lead a lifestyle free from apprehension and complications from the diseases. However, such risks can be eliminated with the help of thoroughly designed and successfully implemented health advocacy campaigns. There are various types of such projects: awareness, prevention, educational, assessment, and other campaigns. Despite the variety of forms, all of them pursue the same purpose: to increase people’s awareness of particular health risks and to eliminate these dangers and provide favorable conditions for the citizens.

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Hypertension in African Americans as One of the Crucial Health Population Issues

Being a comparatively new concept, population health draws the attention of many researchers and raises discussions about it being synonymous to or divergent from public health (Kindig, 2007). Population health is defined as “the health outcomes of a group of individuals, including the distribution of such outcomes within the group” (as cited in Kindig, 2007, p. 143). Particular attention is paid to health issues since the principal aim of population health is the enhancement of people’s health by providing for the health motivations via interventions and projects impacting these motivations (Kindig, 2007).

Apart from covering the overall health of the people, population health also incorporates a significant issue of health distribution (University of Wisconsin Department of Population Health Sciences [UWDPHS], n. d.). The overall health level is high on the condition that the greater part of people is healthy, even if the smaller part is less healthy (UWDPHS, n. d.).

According to Healthy People 2020, high blood pressure or hypertension is one of the most serious health population problems (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [USDHHS], 2012). Evidence-based resources demonstrate the frequent cases of hypertension among the US people, especially among the African American population (Scisney-Matlock et al., 2009). To eliminate the danger of this disease, screening for high blood pressure is advised (USDHHS, 2012). Additionally, health advocacy campaigns are implemented to increase people’s awareness about health issues and help them overcome their difficulties.

Description of Health Advocacy Campaigns

The first campaign under consideration is the dietary campaign proposed by Appel et al. (2006). The authors emphasize the impact of dietary factors on blood pressure and suggest dietary adjustments which can eliminate the adverse outcomes of hypertension. These suggestions include the reduction of alcohol consumption and intake of salt and loss of weight (Appel et al., 2006). The results of the campaign show that implementing the dietary adjustments has a powerful positive impact on the people with high blood pressure (BP), especially on African Americans. The authors notice that in the current situation of rapidly growing numbers of people with high BP, the measures aimed at decreasing BP are justified both for hypertensive and non-hypertensive people (Appel et al., 2006). For hypertensive African American population, dietary modifications can lower BP substantially and allow the people to return to the normal life cycle.

The second effective campaign is the project involving therapeutic life changes proposed by Scisney-Matlock et al. (2009). As well as the previous campaign, this one suggests diet changes. Additionally, it proposes physical activity and self-management strategies to overcome the complications presented by high BP (Scisney-Matlock et al., 2009). The authors suggest a combination of efforts of many people instead of just the patient and a medical worker. Thus, they recommend that the patient’s family, providers, and the community should all take part in helping the person to overcome the disease. Scisney-Matlock et al. notice that therapeutic lifestyle changes positively influence the African American population’s hypertension problem (Scisney-Matlock et al., 2009).

A Proposal of an Advocacy Campaign for Hypertension in African American Population

The proposed advocacy campaign is the Educational Media Campaign. The peculiarity of this project is the use of media for informing the population about the health issues. Media is a powerful tool for informing and encouraging people to take care of their health. Many African Americans suffering from hypertension do not know which outcomes may appear if their problem is not addressed and treated properly.

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Having combined the results of the successful campaigns and have come up with a few new ideas, the objectives of this campaign are:

  • To raise people’s awareness of the health issue;
  • To instruct the population about the specifications and complications of hypertension;
  • To inform the population about the serious diseases that may be caused by hypertension;
  • To teach people how to check blood pressure and identify the deviations from the norm;
  • To encourage the population to address the health advocates when they have difficulty receiving proper assistance;
  • To make the population feel more secure and hopeful about the situation.

The data of National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey indicates that only 29% of African Americans with hypertension managed to achieve BP control in recent years (Scisney-Matlock et al., 2009). Taking into consideration this statistics, as well as the fact that hypertension is a major reason for health disparity in African Americans, the need for health advocacy campaign is evident. With the successful implementation of the Educational Media Campaign, the risks of hypertension in African American population may decrease substantially.


Appel, J. L., Brands, M. W., Daniels, S. R., Karanja, N., Elmer, P. J., & Sacks, F. M. (2006). Dietary approaches to prevent and treat hypertension: A scientific statement from the American heart association. Hypertension, 47(2), 296-308.

Kindig, D. (2007). Understanding population health terminology. The Milbank Quarterly, 85(1), 139-161.

Scisney-Matlock, M., Bosworth, H. B., Newman-Giger, J., Strickland, O. L., Van Harrison, R., Coverson, D.,… Jamerson, K. A. (2009). Strategies for implementing and sustaining therapeutic lifestyle changes as part of hypertension management in African Americans. Postgraduate Medicine, 121(3), 147-159.

University of Wisconsin Department of Population Health Sciences. (n. d.). What is population health? Web.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2012). Healthy People 2020 – Improving the health of Americans. Web.

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