Online Program

Knowledge, Attitudes, and Beliefs Related to Hypertension and High Cholesterol Self-Management among African American Men living in the Southeastern United States

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 3:30 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.

Everett Long, PhD, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Foundation, Atlanta, GA
Monica Ponder, MS, MSPH, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Stephanie Bernard, MPH, PHD, National Center for Chronic Disease and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Rashon Lane, MA, Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
African American men are 25% more likely to die from heart disease than their White counterparts. Perceptions of illness directly affect behaviors related to managing cardiovascular disease, and it is crucial to understand these perceptions held by specific groups.  This qualitative study was done to explore knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs regarding hypertension and high cholesterol management among a group of African American men ages 40-65, living in the Southeastern U.S.  Analysis was conducted using data from in-person focus groups (N=34). Findings revealed a high level of knowledge concerning self-management of high blood pressure, but less knowledge about cholesterol self-management. Perceived severity of both diseases was minimized when compared to other health or life issues. Barriers to disease management included side effects of medications and the desire to maintain unhealthy diets. Facilitators included social support and the desire to provide for one’s family. Cultural implications involved the importance of food in daily life and social settings. Participants also discussed how notions of masculinity affected disease management—medication sexual side effects, desire to set healthy examples for children, and lack of health discussions with African American male peers. The illness perceptions of African American men in the Southeast regarding cardiovascular disease reflect many of the concerns expressed by the general African American population with chronic diseases. However, public health practitioners and health care providers addressing the needs of this population should consider incorporating policies and procedures that take into account cultural implications and notions of masculinity, which can hinder effective disease management.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture

Learning Objectives:
Describe the knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of chronic disease of a group of African American men in the Southeastern U.S. Discuss the implications of race, masculinity, and regional culture on chronic disease managment for African American men with chronic diseases in the southeastern U.S.

Keyword(s): Chronic Disease Management and Care, African American

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a professional health communicator and employee of the CDC. I served as the campaign manager and program manager for the project being presented.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.