Core Research Projects

Reducing the Risk of Heart Disease and Cancer Among African-American Women (1999-2004) 

Principal Investigator
Max Michael,

Funding Source
CDC Prevention Research Centers Program

Project Status

Health Topics
Cancer | Cardiovascular health | Community health | Nutrition & physical activity for adults | Tobacco prevention & control

Research Setting
County or Parish

Race or Ethnicity
No Specific Focus

No specific focus

Age Group
Adults (20-49 years)

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Researchers are testing a model in which residents are trained as community health advisors (CHAs) to help the 25,000 people in Alabama’s Wilcox County adopt healthy behaviors. The researchers trained 115 CHAs in leadership, problem solving, and identifying community resources. Some advisors learned to conduct activities in nutrition, physical activity, and tobacco cessation, while others learned to lead events such as health fairs, walking clubs, and exercise classes. The health advocates raised funds for walking trails and developed a weekly farmer’s market where residents can shop for fresh produce not otherwise easily accessible. CHAs also created low-fat recipes for dishes favored in the region. Researchers are measuring the lifestyle changes the CHAs make for themselves and the effects their activities have on the community’s knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors related to reducing the risks for cancer and heart disease.

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