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Am J Epidemiol. 2000 Aug 15;152(4):316-23.

Effects of a community-wide health education program on cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality: the Stanford Five-City Project.

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  • 1Stanford Center for Research in Disease Prevention, Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA 94304-1825, USA.


The authors examined changes in morbidity and mortality from 1979 through 1992 during the Stanford Five-City Project, a comprehensive community health education study conducted in northern California. The intervention (1980-1986), a multiple risk factor strategy delivered through multiple educational methods, targeted all residents in two treatment communities. Potentially fatal and nonfatal myocardial infarction and stroke events were identified from death certificates and hospital records. Clinical information was abstracted from hospital charts and coroner records; for fatal events, it was collected from attending physicians and next of kin. Standard diagnostic criteria were used to classify all events, without knowledge of the city of origin. All first definite events were analyzed; denominators were estimated from 1980 and 1990 US Census figures. Mixed model regression analyses were used in statistical comparisons. Over the full 14 years of the study, the combined-event rate declined about 3% per year in all five cities. However, during the first 7-year period (1979-1985), no significant trends were found in any of the cities; during the late period (1986-1992), significant downward trends were found in all except one city. The change in trends between periods was slightly but not significantly greater in the treatment cities. It is most likely that some influence affecting all cities, not the intervention, accounted for the observed change.

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