Reducing risk for cardiovascular disease in uninsured women: Combined results from two WISEWOMAN projects
Objective To evaluate the effectiveness of a cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factor reduction program for financially disadvantaged women. The program included cholesterol and blood pressure assessments and tailored physical activity and nutrition interventions. Methods Women who attended selected National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program sites in North Carolina and Massachusetts received either enhanced physical activity and nutrition interventions (EI) or minimum interventions (MI). The effectiveness of EI was assessed by pooling data from the North Carolina and Massachusetts projects after 1 year, and a mixed models analysis of covariance was used to compare changes in CVD risk factors across groups. Results The blood pressure, total cholesterol, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol profiles of both groups improved, body weight was maintained, and smoking declined. The 10-year estimated coronary heart disease death rate (per 1000 women) at baseline was 64.8 for the EI group and 61.9 for the MI group. The rate declined by 3.5 deaths per 1000 for the EI and 0.7 per 1000 for the MI. Although the decline was statistically significant for the EI group, the difference between groups was not significant. Conclusion Further lifestyle intervention research targeting financially disadvantaged women is needed.