A senior center-based pilot trial of the effect of lifestyle intervention on blood pressure in minority elderly people with hypertension

Senaida Fernandez, Kasandra L. Scales, Johanna M. Pineiro, Antoinette M. Schoenthaler, Gbenga Ogedegbe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: To test the feasibility, acceptability, and effect of a senior center-based behavioral counseling lifestyle intervention on systolic blood pressure (BP). DESIGN: A pre-post design pilot trial of behavioral counseling for therapeutic lifestyle changes in minority elderly people with hypertension. Participants completed baseline visit, Visit 1 (approximately 6 weeks postbaseline), and a final study Visit 2 (approximately 14 weeks postbaseline) within 4 months. SETTING: The study took place in six community-based senior centers in New York City with 65 seniors (mean age 72.29±6.92; 53.8% female; 84.6% African American). PARTICIPANTS: Sixty-five minority elderly people. INTERVENTION: Six weekly and two monthly "booster" group sessions on lifestyle changes to improve BP (e.g., diet, exercise, adherence to prescribed antihypertensive medications). MEASUREMENTS: Primary outcome was systolic BP (SBP) measured using an automated BP monitor. Secondary outcomes were diastolic BP (DBP), physical activity, diet, and adherence to prescribed antihypertensive medications. RESULTS: There was a significant reduction in average SBP of 13.0±21.1 mmHg for the intervention group (t(25)=3.14, P=.004) and a nonsignificant reduction in mean SBP of 10.6±30.0 mmHg for the waitlist control group (t(29)=1.95, P=.06). For the intervention group, adherence improved 26% (t(23)=2.31, P=.03), and vegetable intake improved 23% (t(25)=2.29, P=.03). CONCLUSION: This senior center-based lifestyle intervention was associated with a significant reduction in SBP and adherence to prescribed antihypertensive medications and diet in the intervention group. Participant retention and group attendance rates suggest that implementing a group-counseling intervention in senior centers is feasible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1860-1866
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2008


  • Health disparities
  • Hypertension
  • Intervention
  • Lifestyle
  • Older adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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