Background. Cardiovascular risk factors and related behaviors begin during youth. Methods. As part of the Child and Adolescent Trial for Cardiovascular Health, 4,019 children from four states and representing multiple ethnic groups were measured for selected risk factors both at baseline and after 2 1/4 years of intervention. Common protocols were used for both examinations at the four sites. Results. Overall, changes in obesity, blood pressure, and serum lipids in the intervention group, compared with the control group, were not statistically significant. Total cholesterol, the primary physiologic outcome measure, decreased by 1.3 mg/dl over time in the intervention group and by 0.9 mg/dl (P > 0.05) in the control group. Different risk factor patterns for boys and girls and among three ethnic groups were noted. Conclusions. Although the school-based program effected significant institutional changes in food service and physical education class and although the children made significant changes in eating and physical activity behaviors, these did not translate to significant changes in risk factors at these ages. These behavioral changes, however, if sustained into adulthood, have the potential to influence cardiovascular risk reduction.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by funds from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the U.S. Public Health Service: U01-HL-39880, U01-HL-39906, U01-HL-39852, U01-HL-39927, and U01-HL-39870. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Larry S. Webber, Ph.D., Tulane School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine, 1501 Canal Street, Room 1007, New Orleans, LA 70112-2824. Fax: (504) 585-7194.
- blood pressure
- ethnic groups
- risk factors
- school health promotion