Abstract P453: Keep Your Heart Healthy: Engaging Medical Students to Reduce Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Low Income Communities
Background: Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are largely preventable yet remain leading causes of morbidity and mortality in Chicago, especially in minority neighborhoods.
Hypothesis: Medical schools can engage students to conduct community CVD screening and consultation to reduce risks in low income Chicago communities with high CVD mortality rates.
Objectives: Keep Your Heart Healthy (KYHH) initiative is a collaboration of the Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago Department of Public Health, and community partners. The KYHH pilot aims to engage medical students to determine current CVD risks through screening and consultation in primarily Hispanic (Humboldt Park) and African American (North Lawndale) Chicago communities. We report on the pilot: August 1, 2013 to date.
Methods: A total of 54 medical students volunteered, including 26% of the first-year class. A convenience sample of adults was recruited by community health workers. Medical student volunteers, trained by Feinberg faculty, conducted interviews to assess CVD risk by participant self report, measured body weight and blood pressure, and provided brief, personalized counseling based on the American Heart Association’s “Life’s Simple 7.” Participants with blood pressure ≥ 140/90 were referred to their primary care providers or a Federally Qualified Health Center. Randomly selected participants provided post-event survey feedback.
Results: At 17 events, students (mean = 8) screened 650 participants in Humboldt Park (further data n=329 at time of submission) and 119 participants in North Lawndale.
Demographics (Humboldt Park vs North Lawndale) were as follows: race/ethnicity (82% Latino vs 94% African American); age (63% vs 54% 40-65 years old); gender (62% vs 75% women).
Self-reported CVD risk factors included cigarette smoking (31% vs 21%), diabetes (33% vs 17%), hypertension (47% vs 34%), and prior heart attack (8% vs 7%) or stroke (5% vs 1%). Obesity (42% vs 57%) and uncontrolled hypertension (20% vs 23%) rates were high.
Humboldt Park and North Lawndale participants rarely (19% vs 15%) or sometimes (41% vs 43%) ate fruit/vegetables, and sometimes (42% vs 50%) or often (20% vs 22%) ate high-salt foods. Participants often lacked insurance or a usual source of care (32% vs 34%). The most common participant-identified goals were achieving a healthier body weight (51% vs 42%) or diet (41% vs 34%).
Of 131 participants who provided post-event feedback, 95% indicated they learned something new about their heart health, 92% made goals to improve it, 99% indicated they understood their own personal risks, and 99% indicated they would recommend the screening to others.
Conclusion: CVD risk factor burden is high in low income Chicago communities. KYHH is a model for engaging medical students to advance community health by conducting personalized screening and consultation. Early efforts have been well received by community residents.
Author Disclosures: D.A. Klein: None. A.L. Ducharme-Smith: None. J. Rassiwala: None. N.S. Shah: None. C.L. Leung: None. A.S. Kim: None. R. Dahdouh: None. S. Havas: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.