Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Community-Wide Health Program Slows Creep Toward Heart Disease

06.03.2006


A five-year push to blanket a Dutch community with healthy heart programs and education curtailed three major risk factors for heart disease: body mass index, waist circumference and blood pressure.



The cardiovascular disease prevention plan targeted residents of Limburg, a province on the southern edge of the Netherlands. The campaign, dubbed Hartslag Limburg — Dutch for Heartbeat Limburg — included nearly 800 programs from bicycling clubs and supermarket education tours to pamphlet distribution, a stop-smoking effort and commercials on local media outlets.

“This program was capable of actually, not so much improving the health status, but preventing the age- and time-related worsening of health status of this population,” said lead researcher Albertine J. Schuit, Ph.D.


The study reports on health indicators for more than 2,400 people between the ages of 25 to 70. About 750 residents from another Dutch region were also tracked between 1998 and 2003, but the second community was not exposed to the programs encouraging residents to become more active, reduce their fat intake and stop smoking.

The study appears in the current issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

As people age their risk for heart disease typically spikes with each passing year. For BMI, waist circumference and blood pressure, the worsening over time was less pronounced among the Limburg residents in the study.

The average waist circumference of the men in the Limburg group decreased by 0.4 centimeters, while men in the other Dutch community gained an average of 2.7 centimeters over five years — a more than six-fold difference.

The average BMI of the Limburg women increased by 0.38 kg/m2, while their counterparts put on 0.63 kg/m2.

Systolic blood pressure (the top number) was significantly lower for both Limburg men and women, with differences of 7.8 mm/Hg and 5.5 mm/Hg respectively.

The researchers also monitored changes in total cholesterol and blood glucose concentration, but the differences between the two communities were not significant overall.

Schuit, a public health scientist with the Netherlands’ National Institute of Public Health, was project director for the study. Most of the trial interventions were directed at increasing physical activity and a healthy diet, particularly less fat, she said, while only about five percent of the efforts discouraged smoking.

Michael E. Farkouh, a cardiologist who was not involved in the Dutch research, said the study results are no surprise.

“If you bombard a community with interventions that that have all been shown on in individual patient data to make a difference, then it makes sense that you will have a difference in the population,” said Farkouh, an associate professor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Schuit said Hartslag Limburg is a considered a “jewel” in the Netherlands, but cautions that the study design was not a randomized trial, the gold standard for research.

“Because we didn’t randomize, you can never know for sure if the changes we
find are solely the result of the intervention,” Schuit said.

Farkouh said the large number and wide-ranging type of interventions make the Limburg study difficult to replicate, or apply, elsewhere.

“Would this community-based program work in other settings and other health care systems and other populations and ethnic populations, and minority populations? That needs to be further evaluated,” he said.

“So I think this raises more questions than it answers. But the promising finding is that interventions – not patient centered, but community centered – do show significant public health endpoint difference,” Farkouh said.

Lisa Esposito | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cfah.org
http://www.hbns.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht A promising target for kidney fibrosis
21.04.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital

nachricht Stem cell transplants: activating signal paths may protect from graft-versus-host disease
20.04.2017 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

DGIST develops 20 times faster biosensor

24.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Nanoimprinted hyperlens array: Paving the way for practical super-resolution imaging

24.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Atomic-level motion may drive bacteria's ability to evade immune system defenses

24.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>