Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Apr 1;18(7):3660. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18073660.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the number one killer of adults in the U.S., with marked ethnic/racial disparities in prevalence, risk factors, associated health behaviors, and death rates. In this study, we recruited and randomized Blacks with poor cardiovascular health in the Atlanta Metro area to receive an intervention comparing two approaches to engagement with a behavioral intervention technology for CVD. Generalized Linear Mixed Models results from a 6-month intervention indicate that 53% of all participants experienced a statistical improvement in Life’s Simple 7 (LS7), 54% in BMI, 61% in blood glucose, and 53% in systolic blood pressure. Females demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in BMI and diastolic blood pressure and a reduction in self-reported physical activity. We found no significant differences in changes in LS7 or their constituent parts but found strong evidence that health coaches can help improve overall LS7 in participants living in at-risk neighborhoods. In terms of clinical significance, our result indicates that improvements in LS7 correspond to a 7% lifetime reduction of incident CVD. Our findings suggest that technology-enabled self-management can be effective for managing selected CVD risk factors among Blacks.