Our heart disease and stroke prevention efforts in Utah’s Hispanic/Latino communities are experiencing great success, thanks to partnerships with key local groups. Follow-up on the effectiveness of these healthy-lifestyle programs show an impressive number of participants reporting an increase in daily fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity.
So far this year, over 2,000 individuals have been reached at large-scale community events, while nearly 600 are expected to complete our in-depth workshops by the end of 2011. Community outreach in Salt Lake, Utah, Summit, San Pete and Tooele counties is achieved in partnership with groups including the Mexican Consulate, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Catholic Community Services, the Adventist Church and numerous clinics, schools, community centers and other social programs.
Our Conozca Su Corazón workshops educate Hispanics/Latinos to assess their risk for heart disease and stroke and to provide them with tools to reduce their risks and make heart-healthy changes. The program’s follow-up with participants in Utah shows 20 percent reporting a daily increase in eating fruits; 32 percent increasing daily vegetable consumption and some 43 percent reporting they are more physically active.
These results are significant in lowering risk for heart disease and stroke which remain leading causes of death for both men and women in Utah. Risk factors for Hispanics/Latinos are even higher than state averages due to language, economic, and cultural disparities.
In addition to the education component of the Conozca Su Corazón program, the attendees are made aware of other local resources in their communities. The program aims to have a volunteer health professional visit one of the workshops to assess cardiovascular risk factors of the individual participants make them aware of other local resources that will provide continuing assistance.