Abstract 14049: Improving the Cardiovascular Health of Underserved Populations With Life’s Simple 7
Background: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death and disability in the U.S with disproportionate burden on racial/ethnic and underserved populations.
Purpose: To improve the cardiovascular health of underserved populations using the AHA Life’s Simple 7 and My Life Check tools.
Methods: Two inner-city community sites were targeted: 1) a senior center servicing African-American (AA) adults, and 2) a permanent housing center servicing homeless women. Pre-program health data (blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose levels, body mass index, and health behaviors) were collected to calculate My Life Check scores. A 6-month heart healthy program was developed and delivered using Life’s Simple 7 CVD health information. Motivational interviewing was used to address readiness, confidence, behavior change barriers, goal setting and progress. Post-program health data were obtained on participants with the lowest My Life Check Scores who completed the program. Demographics were tabulated using descriptive statistics and My Life Check scores presented as % change.
Results: Site 1: Fifty-eight AA older adults (44 females; 14 males, aged 74 ± 7.3) completed pre-program screening. My Life Check score was M =6.9 (range 3.3 - 9.3). The program was offered to 14 older adults with the lowest My Life Check score of 6.9 or less. Eight older adults completed the 6 month program and the My Life Check score improved by 37.1 %.
Site 2: Seventeen women (aged 52 ± 6.2) completed pre-screening. My Life Check was M = 4.3 (range 0.8-8.1). The program was offered to 17 women with the lowest scores My Life Score of 8.1 or less. Ten women completed the 6 month program and the My Life Check score decreased by 10.2%.
Conclusion: The benefits of the heart healthy program were seen in the older adults by an improvement in their My Life Check scores. A similar benefit was not observed in the women at the shelter which may be due to a constellation of social, environmental, biological and mental health factors. Targeting underserved populations in the context of community centers will be important for the AHA to meet its 2020 impact goals. Further research with Life’s Simple 7 /My Life Check is needed to test its efficacy in underserved populations.
- © 2013 by American Heart Association, Inc.