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Evaluating community-based preventive cardiovascular programs: Problems and experiences from the North Karelia project


Among the different approaches to the study of cardiovascular disease prevention are community-based programs. This type of program concerns a whole community and the intervention takes advantage of the existing service structure and community organization. The evaluation assesses the feasibility, effects on risk factor and disease reduction, costs, process, and other consequences associated with the program. Several such programs have recently been launched in the United States and some other countries. The first major community-based control program was the North Karelia project in Finland, started in 1972 and recently evaluated for its first five-year period. This paper discusses the problems in evaluating community-based CVD control programs on the experiences obtained in the North Karelia project.

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Additional information

Pekka Puska and Aulikki Nissinen are with the Department of Epidemiology, National Public Health Institute, Mannerheimintie 166, SF-00280 Helsinki 28, Finland. Pekka Puska and Jukka T. Salonen are with the Research Institute of Community Health (North Karelia project), University of Kuopio, P.O. Box 138, SF-70101 Kuopio 10, Finland. Jaako Tuomilehto is with the World Health Organization Headquarters, Cardiovascular Unit, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland. Thomas E. Kottke is with the Laboratory of Physiological Hygiene, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, U.S.A. Communication concerning the manuscript should be addressed to Prof. Pekka Puska

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Puska, P., Salonen, J.T., Tuomilehto, J. et al. Evaluating community-based preventive cardiovascular programs: Problems and experiences from the North Karelia project. J Community Health 9, 49–64 (1983).

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  • Public Health
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Health Promotion
  • Disease Prevention
  • Control Program