Abstract 15352: Heart Healthy Living: A Community-Based Intervention to Achieve AHA 2020 Goals for African American Women
Background: Cardiovascular (CV) disease remains the leading cause of death for women, and African American (AA) women suffer from a disproportionate burden of CV risk factors (RF). We developed a community-based education, nutrition, and physical activity program, Heart Healthy Living (HHL) to address the unique challenges AA women face.
Methods: HHL consisted of a 6-week program to improve the CV health of AA women aged 18 years or older with at least one CV RF and the ability to exercise at moderate intensity. The program consisted of weekly physical activity sessions as well as interactive education sessions on CV RF, nutrition, and heart healthy living. Participants were weighed weekly, had their blood pressure checked at the beginning and completion of the program, and completed a pre- and post- test of the validated Heart Disease Knowledge Questionnaire. A linear mixed effects model was used to analyze the weekly measured data.
Results: Participants included 32 AA women with a mean (SD) age of 48 (11.1). At baseline, 55% of the women suffered from hypertension and 68% were obese with a mean BMI of 34.3kg/m2. Overall, participants experienced an age-adjusted weekly weight loss of 0.5 lbs and an age-adjusted total weight loss of 2.7 lbs (p<0.001). There was a 40% relative decline hypertension prevalence after completion of the intervention. Knowledge of heart disease risk and symptom awareness was low; however after completion of the program knowledge significantly improved (Figure).
Conclusion: We found that a tailored health education and physical activity program resulted in achievement of AHA 2020 objectives in high-risk women. Our pilot study suggests that targeted community-based interventions focusing on health promotion may significantly improve cardiovascular risk factors in AA women. Larger and longer studies of HHL are ongoing to determine whether these results are replicable and sustainable.
- © 2013 by American Heart Association, Inc.