Improvements in heart health behaviors and reduction in coronary artery disease risk factors in urban teenaged girls through a school-based intervention: the PATH program

Am J Public Health. 2004 Sep;94(9):1538-43. doi: 10.2105/ajph.94.9.1538.


Objectives: We sought to assess the effects of a school-based intervention program on cardiovascular disease risk factors in urban girls.

Methods: We compared heart health knowledge, health behaviors, cardiovascular risk factors, and physical fitness among a group of 442 multiethnic teenaged girls (310 experimental participants vs 132 control participants). Testing was conducted before and after a 12-week program of vigorous exercises integrated with lectures and discussions on diet, exercise, stress, and smoking.

Results: Significant differences in body fat, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, heart health knowledge, and whether breakfast was eaten were observed between experimental participants and control participants.

Conclusions: An integrated program of exercise and heart health-related lectures and discussions had a beneficial effect on health knowledge, health behaviors, and onset of risk factors for coronary artery disease among urban girls.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior* / psychology
  • Coronary Artery Disease / prevention & control*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / psychology
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Education* / methods
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • New York City / epidemiology
  • Primary Prevention* / methods
  • Program Evaluation
  • Risk Factors
  • School Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Smoking Prevention
  • Stress, Physiological / prevention & control
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors