Children First Study: how an educational program in cardiovascular prevention at school can improve parents' cardiovascular risk

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Abstract

Aim:

To evaluate whether a multidisciplinary educational program (EP) in cardiovascular prevention (CVP) for children could improve the Framingham cardiovascular risk (FCR) of their parents after one year.

Methods and results:

This was a prospective community-based study in Brazil during 2010 that randomized students aged 6 to 10 years old to two different approaches to receiving healthy lifestyle information. The control group received written educational material (EM) for their parents about healthy lifestyle. The intervention group received the same EM for parents, and children were exposed to a weekly EP in CVP with a multidisciplinary health team. At onset and end of the study, we collected data from parents and children (weight, height, arterial blood pressure, and laboratory tests). We studied 197 children and 323 parents. Analyzing the parents' FCR we found that 9.3% of the control group and 6.8% of the intervention group had more than a 10% year risk of cardiovascular heart disease (CHD) over the next 10 years. After the children's EP for the year, the intervention group had a reduction of 91% in the intermediate/high FCR group compared with a 13% reduction in the control group, p=0.002). In the same way, analyzing the FCR of all parents, there was a reduction of the average risk in the intervention group (3.6% to 2.8% respectively, p<0.001) compared with the control group (4.4% to 4.4%, p=0.98).

Conclusion:

An educational program in cardiovascular prevention directed at school-age children can reduce the FCR risk of their parents, especially in the intermediate/high risk categories.

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