Objectives: This paper presents a prospective examination of sociodemographic, psychosocial, and physiologic characteristics associated with positive change in cardiovascular disease risk factors during a 6-year multiple risk factor intervention study.
Methods: Data are presented on 221 women and 190 men (aged 25 through 74 years) who participated in four cohort surveys (1979 through 1985). A signal detection model was used to identify baseline variables that best divide the sample into subgroups on the basis of the probability of positive change in a composite risk factor score.
Results: Sixty-nine percent of the respondents showed a positive change in risk factor score during the intervention. The subgroup with the highest proportion of positive changers (83%) was composed of older adults (> 55 years) with the highest perceived risk, highest health media use, and highest blood pressure and cholesterol levels. The subgroup with the lowest proportion of positive changers (42%) was the least educated, was the most likely to be Hispanic, and had the lowest health knowledge and self-efficacy scores.
Conclusions: The differing composition of subgroups who respond or do not respond to community cardiovascular disease interventions illustrates the need to develop specific interventions that target different age, socioeconomic, and cultural subgroups.