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J Community Health. 2014 Aug;39(4):737-46. doi: 10.1007/s10900-014-9820-3.

Lifestyle intervention and cardiovascular disease risk reduction in low-income Hispanic immigrant women participating in the Illinois WISEWOMAN program.

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  • 1Division of Health Policy and Social Science Research, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford, 1601 Parkview Avenue, Rockford, IL, 61107-1897, USA,


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death for Hispanic women in the United States. In 2001, the Illinois Department of Public Health received funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to implement the enhanced WISEWOMAN program (IWP) to address the disproportionate CVD risk among uninsured and underinsured women enrolled in the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. This paper presents the results of the Spanish-language arm of the IWP. Spanish speaking IWP participants were recruited from two sites, and randomized into either the minimum intervention (MI) or the enhanced intervention (EI) group. Both groups received CVD risk factor screening and educational handouts. The EI group also received an integrated 12-week nutrition and physical activity lifestyle change intervention. Of the 180 Spanish-speaking immigrants in this sample, 90 (50%) received the EI and 90 (50%) received the MI. At baseline there were no significant differences between group demographics or clinical values. At post-intervention, the EI group showed improvements in fat intake, fiber intake, moderate intensity physical activity, and total physical activity. At 1 year only the change in fiber intake remained. A significant improvement was also seen in body mass index (BMI) at the 1-year follow-up. The IWP Spanish-language arm was moderately successful in addressing risk factors for CVD in this population. The behavior changes that sustained up to a year were an increase in fiber intake and a decrease in BMI.

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