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Am J Public Health. 1999 Dec;89(12):1819-26.

The impact of a community-based heart disease prevention program in a low-income, inner-city neighborhood.

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Department of Public Health, Régie régionale de la santé et des services sociaux de Montréal-Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.



This study evaluated the impact of a 4-year, community-based cardiovascular disease prevention program among adults aged 18 to 65 years living in St-Henri, a low-income, innercity neighborhood in Montreal, Quebec.


Awareness of and participation in the program were monitored in 3 independent sample telephone surveys. Self-reported behaviors were compared in St-Henri and a nearby comparison community before and after program implementation in both a 3-year repeat independent sample survey and a 5-year longitudinal cohort telephone survey.


Awareness of the program reached 37.4%, but participation was low (2%-3%). There were no secular declines in smoking or high-fat diet; physical inactivity increased in both communities. There were no statistically significant program effects detected in the independent sample surveys, although physical inactivity increased more in the comparison community than in St-Henri. In the longitudinal cohort sample, there was a small, statistically significant increase favoring St-Henri in frequency of cholesterol checkups.


Despite careful adaptation of the program to the local social context, there were few community-wide program effects. However, several component interventions showed promise in terms of community penetration and impact.

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