Implementation of “Heart Smart:” A Cardiovascular School Health Promotion Program

Authors

  • Ann M. Downey,

    1. Ann M. Downey, MS, PhD, Associate Professor; Gail C. Frank, RD, DrPH, Assistant Professor; and David W. Harsha, PhD, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Medicine
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  • Gail C. Frank,

    1. Ann M. Downey, MS, PhD, Associate Professor; Gail C. Frank, RD, DrPH, Assistant Professor; and David W. Harsha, PhD, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Medicine
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  • Larry S. Webber,

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    • 2

      Larry S. Webber, PhD, Professor of Biometry and Genetics, and Medicine;

  • David W. Harsha,

    1. Ann M. Downey, MS, PhD, Associate Professor; Gail C. Frank, RD, DrPH, Assistant Professor; and David W. Harsha, PhD, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Medicine
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  • Stephen J. Virgilio,

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    • 5

      Stephen J. Virgilio, PhD, Associate Professor, Dept. of Health and Physical Education, University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA 70148.

  • Frank A. Franklin,

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      Frank A. Franklin, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Dept. of Pediatrics;

  • Gerald S. Berenson

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      Gerald S. Berenson, MD, Professor of Medicine, Chief, Section of Cardiology, Director, National Research and Demonstration Center – Arteriosclerosis (NRDC-A), Louisiana State University Medical Center, 1542 Tulane Ave., New Orleans, LA 70112;


  • This research was supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, of the US Public Health Service, National Research and Demonstration Center (NRDC-A) HL15103, at Louisiana State University Medical Center, New Orleans.

Abstract

ABSTRACT: The Bogalusa Heart Study, an investigation of 8,000 children, has compiled a large data bank on cardiovascular (CV) risk factors in children during the past 12 years. Precursors of heart disease begin at a young age, with many children already possessing one or more known clinical risk factors – hypertension, obesity, and adverse lipoprotein changes. Having obtained data examining the determinants, distributions, interrelationships and trends over time for CV risk factors, a foundation was provided to address additional questions directed toward intervention strategies. “Heart Smart” is a comprehensive, research-based CV health promotion program testing differential effects of a population (public health) strategy versus a high-risk approach within four elementary schools. The major goal of “Heart Smart” is to reduce CV risk factors in children with an intervention to facilitate the adoption of healthful lifestyles. Objectives, intervention modalities, and design and evaluation procedures for children and adults in a total school environment (K-6) are described.

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