The Stanford Five-City Project: design and methods

Am J Epidemiol. 1985 Aug;122(2):323-34. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.aje.a114104.


The Stanford Five-City Project is a large experimental field study of community health education for the prevention of cardiovascular disease. It will provide data on fundamental questions in cardiovascular disease epidemiology, communication, health education, behavior change, and community organization, and will also test the ability of a potentially cost-effective program to prevent cardiovascular disease at the community level. This paper describes the purposes, hypotheses, design, and methods of the Five-City Project as a reference for future papers describing results. It is hypothesized that a 20% decrease in cardiovascular disease risk will lead to a significant decline in cardiovascular disease event rates in two treatment communities compared with three reference communities as a result of a six-year intervention program of community-wide health education and organization. Risk factor change will be assessed through four surveys of independent samples and in a repeatedly surveyed cohort. Cardiovascular disease event rates will be assessed through continuous community surveillance of fatal and nonfatal myocardial infarction and stroke.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure
  • California
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Child
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Data Collection
  • Diet
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Health Education
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Primary Prevention / methods*
  • Risk
  • Smoking
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol