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Effectiveness of the Pasos Adelante Chronic Disease Prevention and Control Program in a US-Mexico Border Community, 2005-2008

Preventing Chronic Disease
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Publication Date
  • Original Research
  • Biology
  • Education
  • Medicine


Introduction Pasos Adelante is a lifestyle intervention program facilitated by community health workers (promotores) targeting chronic disease prevention and control in Mexican Americans. Initial studies of Pasos Adelante indicated significant improvements in self-reported nutrition and physical activity. This study examined whether Pasos Adelante participants living in a US border community showed improvements in selected physiological measures after participating in the program and whether changes were maintained at 3-month follow-up. Methods The program took place in 12-week sessions from January 2005 to May 2008 and included walking groups and education targeting nutrition and physical activity. Questionnaires, anthropometric measures, and laboratory tests were conducted at baseline (n = 305), conclusion of program (n = 254), and 3-month follow-up (n = 221). Results Participants demonstrated decreases in body mass index (P = .04), waist and hip circumference (P < .001), diastolic and systolic blood pressure (P < .001), and total cholesterol (P = .008) from baseline to program conclusion. No values worsened significantly between program conclusion and follow-up, except systolic blood pressure. Glucose levels improved between conclusion and follow-up (P = .01). Conclusion These results support the initial findings of improvements in participants' self-reported physical activity and nutrition patterns through changes in objective measures. This evidence-based program demonstrates the potential for a promotores-facilitated chronic disease prevention and control program to improve physical health and targets both primary and secondary prevention in Hispanic communities and organizations.

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