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Prevention and Control
African American women demonstrate a high prevalence of potentially modifiable risk factors thus primary, secondary and tertiary prevention strategies, particularly those aimed at limiting hypertension would likely prove very beneficial. African American women aged 25 to 54 years whose age adjusted risk is significantly higher than whites results in an increased years per life lost (YPLL) need to be given particularly aggressive attention. It is well established that the quantity of knowledge about CHD determinants, behavioral change, and availability of preventative and therapeutic resources is greater as socioeconomic status increases. Because many African American women are socio-economically disadvantaged, risk factor modification is likely to prove to be very challenging. Because African American women tend not to access standard health care facilities, community based interventions at churches, work sites and schools may prove to be particularly helpful. One unique approach to community intervention for reducing cardiovascular disease risk in blacks is currently being conducted in Baltimore Md. In this program, a clergy/academic partnership between Clergy United for Renewal in East Baltimore (CURE) and Johns Hopkins University called Heart Body and Soul Inc. has been formed (25). The mission of Heart Body and Soul is to narrow the health gap between African Americans and whites by mobilizing community resources to identify and treat CHD in blacks (25). Preliminary results suggest that the inclusion of a clergy component in this research project minimizes barriers to both research and treatment by eliminating some of the suspicion and mistrust that is typically associated with such research endeavors.