How effective are strategies for non-communicable disease prevention and control in a high risk population in a developing country? Isfahan Healthy Heart Programme

Arch Med Sci. 2010 Mar 1;6(1):24-31. doi: 10.5114/aoms.2010.13503. Epub 2010 Mar 9.


Introduction: The Isfahan Healthy Heart Programme (IHHP) is a community-based programme for non-communicable diseases prevention and control using both a population and high risk approach in Iran. This study demonstrated the efficacy of IHHP interventional strategies to improve lifestyle behaviours in a population at risk for developing cardiovascular diseases.

Material and methods: Healthy Lifestyle for NCDs High Risk Population is one of ten projects of IHHP. High risk individuals were defined as those who have at least one risk factor for developing coronary artery disease (CAD). Changes of behavioural indicators have been compared between two areas with a survey after 5 years of intervention.

Results: Among high risk individuals in the intervention and reference areas, 77.8% and 82.5% had at least one major risk factor for CAD. The prevalence of major risk factors for CAD (except cigarette smoking) was decreased in both intervention and reference areas during 5 years of intervention and the pattern of diet and physical activity was improved.

Conclusions: Interventional activities in IHHP targeting the high risk population seem to be effective in improving lifestyle behaviour, increasing awareness and control of risk factors of the high risk population.

Keywords: Iran; community interventions; coronary artery disease; developing country; healthy lifestyle; risk factor.