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Healthy Heart, Healthy Family: A NHLBI/HRSA Collaborative Employing Community Health Workers to Improve Heart Health
Abstract

Abstract:

Kokua Kalihi Valley, a federally qualified health center in Hawaii, collaborated with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to test the efficacy of community health workers (CHWs) to deliver the Healthy Heart, Healthy Family curriculum to low-income Filipinos with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. At 12 months, significant improvements were seen in health behaviors, knowledge, and self-efficacy in managing chronic diseases. We also observed decreases in total cholesterol from 186.25 mg/dl to 170.88 mg/dl (p=.001), low-density lipoprotein from 114.43 mg/dl to 103.04 mg/dl (p=.013), and fasting blood glucose from 117.95 mg/dl to 109.07 mg/dl (p=.034). Although these changes were statistically significant, they are small and not clinically meaningful in reducing CVD risk. The high-density lipoprotein was 3.3 mg/dl lower (worse) at 12 months (p=.003), mean values for blood pressure, BMI, and waist circumference increased. Community health workers can be trained to deliver evidence-based curricula that improve health behaviors and increase self-efficacy in managing chronic diseases.