Date of Conferral





Public Health


Sriya Krishnamoorthy



Fatal coronary heart disease among African Americans is associated with a

disproportionate burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. Research has indicated that CVD risk factor knowledge and the prevalence of ideal CVH both persist at suboptimal levels. However, few researchers have investigated the relationship between culturally-tailored community-based heart health sessions, short-term knowledge acquisition of CVD risk factors, and the awareness of the American Heart Association's (AHA's) CVH construct. The purpose of this cross-sectional, secondary analysis study was to examine the interplay between these variables in an urban African American sample. Guided by social cognitive theory, the study analyzed de-identified data (data

sets of demographic characteristics and Heart Disease Facts Questionnaire) from participant responses collected at multiple community sites to assist in the planning of future health programs. Multiple community sites were randomized into an intervention (n = 50) or comparison group (n = 57). Pearson's correlation and multiple regression were used to analyze data. Knowledge was higher for intervention group participants (β =.44, p = .001) and tended to be higher for those with more education (β = .20, p = .06) and those with less income (β = -.22, p = .07). Notably, most participants (73%) reported

awareness of the AHA construct, CVH. The results support culturally-tailored

interventions as a useful strategy for CVD risk reduction. The implication for social change is that initiatives at the community-level may positively impact CVH in minority/ethnic communities and subsequently impact CVD disparities.