Concentration Area: Advocacy and Activism
- Authors: Marshala Lee, Deborah King, Wendy White, Nimr Fahmy
- Abstract: Objective:
The objective of this study is to assess the effectiveness of the Jackson Heart Study’s Know Your Numbers Program in increasing cardiovascular disease awareness and decreasing cardiovascular disease risk factors among adolescent participants.
Participants completed two surveys, the Know Your Numbers Assessment which consisted of 5 questions which assessed the students’ knowledge of optimal biomarker numbers and the Health Awareness Survey (a modified version of the Youth Behavioral Risk Factor Survey) which questioned the students’ physical activity levels, dietary behaviors, and personal evaluation of overall health. Each participate was given a clinical assessment that measured cardiovascular disease biomarkers including BMI, blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol levels. Following the assessment, participants took part in an interactive cardiovascular disease educational seminar.
Returning participants significantly outscored new participants on every question on the KYN Survey. There was not a significant difference between any of the cardiovascular biomarkers measured between the two groups. For a large number of participants in both groups, their perception of their own health status did not accurately reflect their actual biomarker assessments. Both groups’ rates of obesity and cardiovascular risk factors were well above the reported national averages.
The results of this study highlight the fact that knowledge does not always result in a positive behavior change. There is a need for similar programs to be implemented within schools that can combine the health knowledge contained in this program with long-term physical activity and nutrition programs. The obesity rates observed in this population mirror the enormous epidemic observed in the adult Mississippi population. Early intervention is crucial; to reversing these risk factors and preventing progression to cardiovascular disease and other metabolic conditions.
- Journal: Sixteenth Annual NHLBI Cardiovascular Diversity Research Supplement Awardee Session
- Month: Nov
- Year: 2008