Partner Release: AMA, National Coalition Announce Campaign with ESSENCE to Advocate for Heart Health with Black Women

Together, AMA, AMA Foundation, Association of Black Cardiologists, American Heart Association, Minority Health Institute, and National Medical Association launch “Release the Pressure” campaign aimed at supporting Black women and their squads to monitor and manage their blood pressure

CHICAGO – The American Medical Association (AMA), along with a coalition of national physician organizations and heart health experts, today announced a new campaign with ESSENCE aimed at partnering with Black women to improve their heart health and be part of a movement for healthy blood pressure—the leading risk factor for heart attack and stroke. Together, the AMA, the AMA Foundation, Association of Black Cardiologists, American Heart Association, Minority Health Institute and National Medical Association launched the “Release the Pressure” campaign to provide Black women with resources to identify and track their blood pressure numbers, as well as develop a wellness plan with existing personal support systems of family and friends to manage their heart health virtually.

The COVID-19 pandemic and recent coverage of on-going verbal and physical violence against Black people has increased the visibility of long-standing inequities, including historical structural inequities such as neighborhood disinvestment, which has led to less healthy and affordable housing, as well as barriers to consistent transportation, health care access, and employment opportunities—contributing to chronic stress and “weathering” that have made Black communities more vulnerable to illness.

Prior to the pandemic, the latest data showed that high blood pressure continues to disproportionately affect communities of color. According to the American Heart Association, the prevalence of high blood pressure among Black adults in the U.S. is among the highest in the world, with the prevalence of high blood pressure in Black women nearly 40% higher than white women in the U.S. Additionally, almost 80% of Black adults living with high blood pressure do not have it controlled to goal, placing them at increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

However, being Black is not the risk factor for poor health. In fact, there are larger structural and social drivers for these health inequities. That’s why the AMA and the coalition are collaborating with ESSENCE—the leading media, technology and commerce company serving Black women and communities for 50 years. As a trusted brand among Black women and their families, the AMA partnered with ESSENCE to meet a common goal of supporting health and wellness with health care providers and loved ones.

Back to News