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J Community Health. 1999 Oct;24(5):359-79.

Salud para su Corazón: a community-based Latino cardiovascular disease prevention and outreach model.

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  • 1Department of Communication, University of California at Davis, 95616-8695, USA.


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death for Latinos living in the United States. This population is generally unaware of important lifestyle or behavioral changes that can prevent CVD. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) designed and implemented Salud para su Corazón (Health for Your Heart), a culturally appropriate, community-based, theory-driven intervention model. NHLBI's goals were: (1) to design an intervention model appropriate to Latino populations; (2) to pilot test the model in a specific community with the objectives of increasing awareness about heart disease, raising knowledge about CVD prevention, and promoting heart-healthy lifestyles; and (3) to disseminate the model and the materials developed to other communities with similar needs. An agency-community partnership, under the leadership of the Community Alliance for Heart Health, guided all stages of the community intervention project. The multimedia bilingual community intervention included television telenovela format public service announcements (PSAs), radio programs, brochures, recipe booklets, charlas, a promotores training manual, and motivational videos. An evaluation survey assessed the impact of the intervention. A pre-post intervention survey was conducted with more than 300 participants, and results showed that the respondents were substantially more aware of risk factors for CVD, and had greatly increased their knowledge of ways to prevent heart disease. Dissemination efforts have resulted in numerous requests by health organizations, universities, and health maintenance organizations (HMOs) for educational materials and communication strategies produced by Salud para su Corazón. In addition, Univision, the largest Spanish-language broadcast television network, is airing the initiative's PSAs. Also, training seminars for promotores are being conducted in different regions of the United States, and several locations are planning to replicate this study.

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