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Advances in Preventive Medicine
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 798184, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/798184
Clinical Study

Short-Term Effectiveness of a Lifestyle Intervention Program for Reducing Selected Chronic Disease Risk Factors in Individuals Living in Rural Appalachia: A Pilot Cohort Study

1Department of Specialty Medicine, Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, Athens, OH 45701, USA
2School of Medicine, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA 92354, USA
3Office of Research and Grants, Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, Athens, OH 45701, USA
4Live Healthy Appalachia, Athens, OH 45701, USA
5Lifestyle Research Center, Avondale College of Higher Learning, Cooranbong, NSW 2265, Australia
6Department of Family Medicine, Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, Athens, OH 45701, USA

Received 5 September 2013; Accepted 16 December 2013; Published 16 January 2014

Academic Editor: Magdalena Gherardi

Copyright © 2014 David Drozek et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Most Western chronic diseases are closely tied to lifestyle behaviors, and many are preventable. Despite the well-distributed knowledge of these detrimental behaviors, effective efforts in disease prevention have been lacking. Many of these chronic diseases are related to obesity and type 2 diabetes, which have doubled in incidence during the last 35 years. The Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP) is a community-based, comprehensive lifestyle modification approach to health that has shown success in addressing this problem. This pilot study demonstrates the effectiveness of CHIP in an underserved, rural, and vulnerable Appalachian population. Two hundred fourteen participants in CHIP collectively demonstrated significant reductions in body mass index, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and fasting blood levels of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein, and glucose. If these results can be repeated in other at-risk populations, CHIP has the potential to help reduce the burden of preventable and treatable chronic diseases efficiently and cost-effectively.