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Pediatrics. 1998 Aug;102(2 Pt 1):371-80.

School-based interventions improve heart health in children with multiple cardiovascular disease risk factors.

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1
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Nursing, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7460, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the immediate effects of two types of elementary school-based interventions on children with multiple cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors.

DESIGN:

Randomized, controlled field trial.

SETTING:

Conducted in 18 randomly selected elementary schools across North Carolina.

STUDY PARTICIPANTS:

Four hundred twenty-two children age 9 +/- 0.8 years with at least two risk factors at baseline: low aerobic power and either high serum cholesterol or obesity.

INTERVENTION:

Both 8-week interventions consisted of a knowledge and attitude program and an adaptation of physical education. The classroom-based intervention was given by regular teachers to all children in the 3rd and 4th grades. The risk-based intervention was given in small groups only to children with identified risk factors. Children in the control group received usual teaching and physical education.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

The primary outcome measure was cholesterol; additional measures were blood pressure, body mass index, body fat, eating and activity habits, and health knowledge.

RESULTS:

Both interventions produced large reductions in cholesterol (-10.1 mg/dL and -11.7 mg/dL) compared with a small drop (-2.3 mg/dL) in the controls. There was a trend for systolic blood pressure to increase less in both intervention groups than in the controls. Both intervention groups had a small reduction in body fat and higher health knowledge than the control group.

CONCLUSIONS:

Both brief interventions can improve the CVD risk profile of children with multiple risk factors. The classroom-based approach was easier to implement and used fewer resources. This population approach should be considered as one means of early primary prevention of CVD.

PMID:
9685441
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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