Reaching individuals at risk for cardiovascular disease through community outreach in Colorado

Denver Health, 777 Bannock St. MC 7779, Denver, CO 80204, USA.
Preventive Medicine (Impact Factor: 3.09). 10/2010; 52(1):84-6. DOI: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2010.10.005
Source: PubMed


The aim of this program was to (1) increase awareness of individual cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in underserved communities, (2) educate participants about lifestyle modifications to reduce CVD risk, and (3) link individuals at moderate to high risk with healthcare. Community health workers (CHWs) delivered the program in 14 urban, rural and frontier Colorado communities.
We analyzed data from CVD screenings of 17,995 individuals throughout Colorado between 2006 and 2009 in order to understand the reach and impact of the program on reaching target populations, identifying at-risk individuals and improving awareness of CVD risk.
In 3 years, 15 CHWs screened 17,995 clients for CVD risk, of which, almost 60% were racial and ethnic minorities and 42% were uninsured. Twenty-nine percent of participants had medium or high Framingham Risk Scores. Over three-quarters were overweight or obese, over one-fifth had mildly to severely high blood pressure, and 42% had borderline high or high cholesterol. Significantly, 82% had no knowledge of their CVD risk prior to screening.
This program is a replicable model for reaching minority and medically underserved populations who are at risk for CVD in urban, rural and frontier communities.

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