Effect of 5-year community intervention Hartslag Limburg on cardiovascular risk factors

A.J. Schuit, Gerrie C W Wendel-Vos, Wilhelmina M M Verschuren, Emma T Ronckers, Andre Ament, Patricia Van Assema, Jan Van Ree, Erik C Ruland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)



A widely advocated strategy in public health is community-based health promotion. The aim of this study was to investigate the net effect of a cardiovascular disease prevention program (Hartslag Limburg) on cardiovascular risk factors after 5 years of intervention.


Cohort study comparing 5-year mean change in risk factors between the intervention and reference area. The statistical analyses for the study were performed in 2005.


In 1998, 3000 subjects (aged 25 to 70) from the intervention area and 895 subjects from a reference area participated in the baseline measurement. Of these, 2414 intervention subjects and 758 reference subjects completed the follow-up measurement in 2003.


Hartslag Limburg is an integrative community-based cardiovascular disease prevention program promoting a healthy lifestyle.

Main outcome measures:

Body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, blood pressure, serum glucose (nonfasting), and serum total and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.


During the 5-year follow-up, risk factors changed unfavorably in the reference group, whereas changes were less pronounced or absent in the intervention group. The adjusted difference in mean change in risk factors between intervention and reference group was significant (p<0.05) for BMI: -0.36 kg/m(2) in men and -0.25 kg/m(2) in women; waist circumference -2.9 cm in men and -2.1 cm in women; systolic blood pressure: -7.8 mmHg in men and -5.5 mmHg in women; total cholesterol 0.11 mmol/L in women and finally serum glucose -0.23 mmol/L in women.


Hartslag Limburg succeeded in reducing-and in some cases, preventing-age- and time-related increase in BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure, and, in women, nonfasting glucose concentration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-242
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Cohort Studies
  • Community Health Services
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands
  • Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
  • Primary Prevention
  • Program Evaluation
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Class
  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Studies
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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