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Improving Heart Healthy Lifestyles Among Participants in a Salud Para Su Corazón Promotores Model: The Mexican Pilot Study, 2009–2012
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    Introduction

    In Mexico, cardiovascular disease and its risk factors are growing problems and major public health concerns. The objective of this study was to implement cardiovascular health promotion and disease prevention activities of the Salud para su Corazón model in a high-risk, impoverished, urban community in Mexico City.

    Methods

    We used a pretest–posttest (baseline to 12-week follow-up) design without a control group. Material from Salud para su Corazón was validated and delivered by promotores (community health workers) to community members from 6 geographic areas. Two validated, self-administered questionnaires that assessed participants’ knowledge and behaviors relating to heart health were administered. We used t tests and χ2 tests to evaluate pretest and posttest differences, by age group (≤60 and >60 years), for participants’ 3 heart-healthy habits, 3 types of physical activity, performance skills, and anthropometric and clinical measurements.

    Results

    A total of 452 (82%) adult participants completed the program. Heart-healthy habits from pretest to posttest varied by age group. “Taking action” to modify lifestyle behaviors increased among adults aged 60 or younger from 31.5% to 63.0% (P < .001) and among adults older than 60 from 30.0% to 45.0% (P < .001). Positive responses for cholesterol and fat consumption reduction were seen among participants 60 or younger (P = .03). Among those older than 60, salt reduction and weight control increased (P = .008). Mean blood glucose concentration among adults older than 60 decreased postintervention (P = .03).

    Conclusion

    Significant improvements in some heart-healthy habits were seen among adult participants. The model has potential to improve heart-healthy habits and facilitate behavioral change among high-risk adults.