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Isfahan healthy heart program: Evaluation of comprehensive, community-based interventions for non-communicable disease prevention

Authors:

Nizal Sarrafzadegan ,

Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, P.O. Box 81465-1148, Isfahan; Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, IR; Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University, Montreal, CA
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Abdolmehdi Baghaei,

Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, P.O. Box 81465-1148, Isfahan; Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, IR; Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University, Montreal, CA
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Gholamhussein Sadri,

Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, P.O. Box 81465-1148, Isfahan; Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, IR; Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University, Montreal, CA
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Roya Kelishadi,

Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, P.O. Box 81465-1148, Isfahan; Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, IR; Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University, Montreal, CA
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Hussein Malekafzali,

Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, P.O. Box 81465-1148, Isfahan; Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, IR; Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University, Montreal, CA
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Maryam Boshtam,

Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, P.O. Box 81465-1148, Isfahan; Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, IR; Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University, Montreal, CA
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Ahmad Amani,

Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, P.O. Box 81465-1148, Isfahan; Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, IR; Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University, Montreal, CA
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Katayoon Rabie,

Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, P.O. Box 81465-1148, Isfahan; Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, IR; Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University, Montreal, CA
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Ali Moatarian,

Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, P.O. Box 81465-1148, Isfahan; Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, IR; Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University, Montreal, CA
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Aliakbar Rezaeiashtiani,

Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, P.O. Box 81465-1148, Isfahan; Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, IR; Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University, Montreal, CA
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Gilles Paradis,

Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, P.O. Box 81465-1148, Isfahan; Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, IR; Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University, Montreal, CA
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Jennifer O’Loughlin

Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, P.O. Box 81465-1148, Isfahan; Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, IR; Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University, Montreal, CA
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Abstract

Background: Isfahan healthy heart program (IHHP), a six year, action-oriented, comprehensive and integrated community-based demonstration study, was launched late in 1999 to address the ongoing epidemic of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and their major risk factors in Iran. It is a quasi-experimental trial that includes a reference area and several levels of evaluation including process, impact and outcome evaluations. IHHP involves individual, community and environmental changes to support health behavior modification.

Objectives: To describe the IHHP evaluation design and to assess the extent to which the program has attained its short-term impacts.

Methods: The IHHP evaluation includes four annual independent sample surveys in four specific sub-groups (adults, adolescents, health professionals and individuals at high risk for NCD) in both intervention and reference areas. In addition a sixyear cohort study of persons aged P35 years in both areas measures impact on behaviors at the individual level and assesses the risk of myocardial infarction and stroke. The WHO STEPwise risk factor surveillance questionnaires were used to conduct the cross sectional surveys, which evaluate the impacts and outcomes of interventions evaluate the impacts and outcomes of interventions undertaken concurrently in 10 distinct component projects designed to improve behaviors, risk factors, and NCD-specific morbidity and mortality. Data collection on ischemic heart disease, stroke, and mortality is ongoing. The results of the first year of evaluation are reported here.

Findings: A significant increase in the consumption of oil was observed among males and females in the intervention community compared to the reference area (P < 0.05). While daily smoking decreased and daily exercise increased among males in the intervention community, less favorable changes were observed among women. Daily exercise and oil consumption increased significantly, and attempts to smoke decreased among adolescents in the intervention community (P < 0.05). Knowledge about healthy life style improved significantly in physicians, nurses and health trainees in the intervention compared to reference areas (P < 0.05). Age, sex, level of education and urban or rural place of residence modified the response to intervention activities.

Conclusion: The implementation and evaluation of a comprehensive integrated community-based program for NCD prevention in a developing country is feasible and successful in obtaining short-term improvement in several lifestyle behaviors.

How to Cite: Sarrafzadegan N, Baghaei A, Sadri G, Kelishadi R, Malekafzali H, Boshtam M, et al.. Isfahan healthy heart program: Evaluation of comprehensive, community-based interventions for non-communicable disease prevention. Global Heart. 2006;2(2):73–84. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.precon.2006.10.003
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Published on 01 Jun 2006.

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