Heart disease and stroke in Utah remain the leading causes of death for both men and women—including Hispanics1. Hispanics accounted for 13% of the population in 2010 with a 78% increase in population from 20002. This population is at increased risk for heart disease and stroke due to unhealthy lifestyle habits: 66% are obese or overweight, 67% are not physically active, 25% report high blood pressure, 10% have diabetes, and 13% of Utah Latinos self-report poor health3. The majority of risk factors for heart disease are higher in Hispanics as compared to the Utah state average4.
Figure 1 – Heart Disease Behavioral Risk Factors and Comorbidities among Hispanics in Utah, Utah (Hispanics and non-Hispanics), and Hispanics in the U.S3,5.
A Solution: Conozca Su Corazón
The American Heart Association is reaching the underserved, difficult to reach, and largely uninsured Spanish-speaking population with Conozca Su Corazón (CSC). Loosely translated as “Know Your Heart,” CSC is a heart disease and stroke intervention that helps Hispanics/Latinos to make heart-healthy behavior changes. This comprehensive and innovative program was developed using health behavior theory and is focused on healthy weight through behavior modifications in physical activity levels and healthy nutrition.
CSC is a comprehensive approach, not just an education course, and will help Hispanic/Latinos reduce the risk for heart disease.
Program components include four small-group workshops (sessions) in community locations; a heart disease health assessment; online support through Heart360 and social media; worksite wellness integration (Fit-Friendly Worksites); and other activities that promote healthy behaviors (e.g. healthy grocery shopping tours, walking groups, family soccer, cooking demonstration).
Additionally, CSC is designed to be delivered using the community health worker model, which is praised for its ability to deliver culturally-sensitive education in a setting of trust-building while still maintaining very cost-effective program delivery. These community health workers (health promoters) serve as a link between the Hispanic participants and local community resources that can also support heart-healthy behavior change.
CSC is implemented at churches, schools and other locations that are accepted by the Hispanic/Latino community. CSC volunteers, health promoters, and interns plan and implement the program, and the host organization provides the location. Whenever possible, a health promoter from the host organization will be trained to ensure additional support to the participants. Ultimately, implementation is adapted to meet the needs of the local community.
NOTE: Ideally, a new CSC course will be implemented in the same community location six months after the last session (week 4). Prior attendees will be invited to week 1 to complete a follow-up health assessment.
In 2008, with support from the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation we successfully launched Conozca Su Corazón and in 2012, 8 out of 10 participants improved their fruit and vegetable consumption and/or their physical activity levels. In 2013, we seek to expand the program to directly serve Hispanic/Latino individuals in Utah—specifically targeting the areas of Rose Park/Glendale, West Valley City/South Salt Lake, Kearns/Midvale, Magna and South Provo.
2012 Year End Report
1. Utah Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program. The Impact of Heart Disease and Stroke in Utah. Salt Lake City, UT 2012.
2. U.S. Census Bureau. The Hispanic Population: 2010. 2011; http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-04.pdf. Accessed April 1, 2012.
3. Utah Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Utah Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health website. 2010; http://ibis.health.utah.gov/. Accessed November 1, 2012.
4. Center for Multicultural Health. Health Status by Race and Ethnicity: 2010. Salt Lake City, UT 2010.
5. The Office of Minority Health. Heart Disease and Hispanic Americans. 2012; http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/templates/content.aspx?lvl=2&lvlID=54&ID=3325. Accessed April 1, 2012.