Background: In Strömstad, with 10,000 inhabitants, a cardiovascular prevention program was launched during 1985-1987 because of high rates of cardiovascular disease. To study long-term effects in women, an 8-year follow-up was conducted.
Methods: Participants (n = 114) and nonparticipants (n = 269) in the lifestyle intervention program in 1985-1987 (both groups with cardiovascular risk factors) were compared regarding risk factor levels after 8 years. Effects were also compared to another community not exposed to intervention.
Results: After 8 years, intervention participants showed significant reduction of mean systolic blood pressure compared to the control group and had higher intake of dietary fibers and more-positive attitudes to and better knowledge of healthy diets. There was no increase of mean body weight or serum triglyceride levels whatsoever in the intervention group. Compared with another female population not exposed to intervention, body weight and systolic blood pressure changed in a significantly more favorable way.
Conclusions: Results from the prevention program could be discerned after 8 years. Advantages in risk factor changes could also be found when comparing with another female population. Given the high level of stroke in women within the community, the blood pressure advantage in the intervention group is particularly encouraging.