Abstract 13375: Participation in Heart Healthy Behaviors: A Secondary Analysis of the American Heart Association Go Red Heart Match Data
Background/Significance: The AHA created “Heart Match,” a free and secure online program that enables women to connect with each other as they fight heart disease either personally or as a caregiver for someone with heart disease. Through these connections, participants have an opportunity to develop a personal, private, and supportive relationship with other women, share common experiences with those who understand the challenges associated with CVD or caregiving, motivate each other to adhere to treatment, and encourage each other to follow a heart healthy lifestyle.
Purpose: To describe the demographic characteristics of the AHA Go Red Heart Match participants, and to determine whether participation in the program prompted participants to engage in heart healthy behaviors.
Methods/Results: A secondary analysis of data collected as part of a needs assessment survey from the AHA Go Red Heart Match was conducted. A total of 117 (35%) of the 334 invited women completed the survey. The majority of participants were female, married, and college educated. A total of 105 (90%) participants were diagnosed with a type of heart disease or stroke and 77 (73%) participants had undergone treatment. As a result of participating in the program, 75% of the respondents reported the following improvements heart healthy behaviors: eating a more heart healthy diet (54%), exercising more frequently (53%), losing weight (47%), and quitting smoking (10%). Participants who had a diagnosis of heart attack (n = 48) were more likely (p = .003) to quit smoking than those with other diagnoses (n = 69). Notably, 48% of participants reported encouraging someone else in their life to speak to their doctor about their risk for heart disease.
Conclusion: The majority of women who participated in Heart Match reported engaging in new heart healthy behaviors. The findings support expanding the existing program in a more diverse population, as a potentially important risk reduction program for women with heart disease and stroke.
- © 2013 by American Heart Association, Inc.