Community Intervention to Screen Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases in a Rural Texas Community

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Abstract of Journal Article -- July 2000  

By Alberto Coustasse-Hencke, MD, MPH; Debbie Schutkowski, MS, LMSW, CCM; Yolanda Cervantes, MS, HCA; and Antonio Rene, PhD  

This study describes the effectiveness of cardiovascular risk screening for elderly patients of a primary care practice in a rural community. A controlled trial sample of 44 eligible patients was screened in a primary care practice setting in August 1998. All patients completed health risk questionnaires; 93% of the 44 had laboratory work and a complete physical examination. Cost comparisons were made between the cost of the health screening and the cost of hospitalization for cardiovascular disease in Fort Worth, Tex. Within the sample population, the mean age was 67.9 years (±8.1).  A high prevalence of obesity among females (53%), hypertension (58.5%), lipid disorders (63.4%), and elevated glucose levels (19.5%) was found. Preventive health screenings and programs can be cost-effective in identifying and managing major disease (cardiovascular diseases, lipid disorders, and diabetes) and in preventing potential costly hospitalizations.

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