Effectiveness of the Complete Health Improvement Program
Keywords:heart disease, CHIP, health screening, health promotion
Currently, heart disease and diabetes dominate society as the leading cause of death for Americans. In this study, we examined the effectiveness of a lifestyle enhancement program on factors related to the development of heart disease. The Wabash Valley Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP) is a community-based lifestyle change program with the aim to prevent and reverse the effects of all forms of heart disease through educating participants to make more positive choices in regard to their dietary habits, physical activity, stress management, and tobacco use. Fifty-one participants participated in this 8-week study consisting of 16 sessions that included preâ€“ and postâ€“health screenings for comparison. The health screenings included total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, weight (pounds), body mass index, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and resting heart rate. Aggregate data for the group were used to compare the preâ€“ and postâ€“heart screen data for each category. According to the American Heart Association (2006), approximately 34.3% of deaths in the United States are caused by some form of cardiovascular disease. Most of these cases result from unhealthy lifestyle choices related to poor nutrition, physical activity, stress, and tobacco use. In this study, we examined several factors to look for correlations between healthy lifestyle and risk of heart disease. Results show CHIP was effective in reducing the aforementioned factors from 4.8% to 19.2% from pre- to postscreening. These results suggest that the CHIP program was successful in reducing the participants' overall risk of heart disease.
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