Objective: To evaluate the effect of an individual health dialogue on health and risk factors for ischemic heart disease in addition to that of a community based strategy.
Method: Inhabitants in four communities in the area of Skaraborg, Sweden were invited to a health examination including a health dialogue both at the age of 30 and 35 (target communities). In another four communities inhabitants were invited only at the age of 35 (reference communities). Health and risk factors in 35-year old inhabitants in the target communities who participated in the health dialogue in 1989-1991 and 1994-1996 were analysed and compared with 35-year olds in the reference communities participating during the same periods of time.
Results: Inhabitants in communities where there had been a previous individualised health intervention programme had, on the community level, a more favourable development concerning dietary habits, mental stress, body mass index, waist circumference, cholesterol, blood pressure and metabolic risk profile compared to inhabitants in communities with only a community based health intervention programme.
Conclusions: An individual lifestyle oriented health dialogue supported by a global health and risk assessment pedagogic tool seems to be more effective than a community health strategy only.