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1.  The effectiveness of stress management intervention in a community-based program: Isfahan Healthy Heart Program 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;7(4):176-183.
BACKGROUND:
This study was designed to assess the effectiveness of stress management training in improving the ability of coping with stress in a large population.
METHODS:
Five cross-sectional studies using multistage cluster random sampling were performed on adults aged ≥ 19 years between 2000 to 2005 in Isfahan and Najafabad (Iran) as intervention cities and Arak, Iran as the control city within the context of Isfahan Healthy Heart Program. Stress management training was adapted according to age and education levels of the target groups. In a 45-minute home interview, demographic data, General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) and stress management questionnaires were collected. Data was analyzed by t-test, linear regression and general linear model.
RESULTS:
Trends of both adaptive and maladaptive coping skills and GHQ scores from baseline to the last survey were statistically significant in both intervention and reference areas (P < 0.001). While adaptive coping skills increased significantly, maladaptive coping skills decreased significantly in the intervention areas. Furthermore, stress levels decreased significantly in the intervention compared to the reference area.
CONCLUSION:
Stress management programs could improve coping strategies at the community level and can be considered in designing behavioral interventions
PMCID: PMC3413087  PMID: 23205052
Stress Management; Community; Intervention; Coping Strategies
2.  Association of Perceived Stress with Stressful Life Events, Lifestyle and Sociodemographic Factors: A Large-Scale Community-Based Study Using Logistic Quantile Regression 
Objective. The present paper aimed at investigating the association between perceived stress and major life events stressors in Iranian general population. Methods. In a cross-sectional large-scale community-based study, 4583 people aged 19 and older, living in Isfahan, Iran, were investigated. Logistic quantile regression was used for modeling perceived stress, measured by GHQ questionnaire, as the bounded outcome (dependent), variable, and as a function of most important stressful life events, as the predictor variables, controlling for major lifestyle and sociodemographic factors. This model provides empirical evidence of the predictors' effects heterogeneity depending on individual location on the distribution of perceived stress. Results. The results showed that among four stressful life events, family conflicts and social problems were more correlated with level of perceived stress. Higher levels of education were negatively associated with perceived stress and its coefficients monotonically decrease beyond the 30th percentile. Also, higher levels of physical activity were associated with perception of low levels of stress. The pattern of gender's coefficient over the majority of quantiles implied that females are more affected by stressors. Also high perceived stress was associated with low or middle levels of income. Conclusions. The results of current research suggested that in a developing society with high prevalence of stress, interventions targeted toward promoting financial and social equalities, social skills training, and healthy lifestyle may have the potential benefits for large parts of the population, most notably female and lower educated people.
doi:10.1155/2012/151865
PMCID: PMC3471433  PMID: 23091560
3.  Determination of normal range of bleeding time in rural and urban residents of Borujerd, Iran: A pilot study 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;8(3):136-142.
BACKGROUND
Bleeding time test is used to assess the function of platelets in human body. The aim of this project was thus to estimate the sample size required to determine the normal range of bleeding time (BT) in Borujerd (a city in Iran). A pilot study was designed to determine the range of normal BT in a small group of normal people. The total sample size for the next study was then calculated according to the results.
METHODS
In order to determine the sample size, a total of 33 volunteers participated in this study. The normal range of BT was determined by Ivy method. Written informed consents were obtained from all participants and their clinical history was recorded. The sampling was performed once for each participant. However, the results were interpreted by two observers. The study protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee of the research center at Lorestan University of Medical Sciences (Iran).
RESULTS
In this study, 33 normal participants (20 women and 13 men) were divided into four age groups of 35-44, 45-54, 55-64 and over 64 years old. Maximum and minimum BTs in men were 209 (in the age group of 35-44 years) and 150 seconds (in the age group of over 64 years), respectively. On the other hand, the corresponding values in women were 194 (in 55-64 year-old subjects) and 145 seconds (in women over 64 years of age). Considering the aforementioned results, the total sample size for the next study was determined to be 580 normal subjects by two-sample t-test power analysis at a power of 0.91816.
CONCLUSION
There was a significant difference between the normal range of BT in participants of Borujerd and previously recorded range in other studies. Moreover, normal BT in men decreased by aging. This study did not show any special order in increasing or decreasing BT in women.
PMCID: PMC3557001  PMID: 23358456
Platelet; Bleeding Time; Ivy Method; Gender
4.  Is there any difference between non-obese male and female in response to cardiac rehabilitation programs? 
Introduction:
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the leading cause of death and disability all over the world. A sedentary lifestyle and dyslipidemia are known to be the major risk factors, which play an important role in the progression of coronary artery disease. Regarding gender differences, the risk of developing coronary heart disease is recognized as being different between non-obese males and non-obese females. Hence, the aim of this study is to assess the benefits of a comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation program (CRP) on the functional capacity and lipid profiles, such as, total cholesterol, triglycerides, low density lipoprotein cholesterol, and high density lipoprotein cholesterol in non-obese males and non-obese females with coronary artery disease, and comparing these groups.
Materials and Methods:
We evaluated 585 non-obese males and females with coronary artery disease. All the participants completed the cardiac rehabilitation program for two months, which included 24 exercise training sessions, medical evaluation, and consultation. For investigation of the effects of the cardiac rehabilitation program on the functional capacity and lipid profiles, exercise tests were carried out by each patient, and also, their blood samples were taken on entrance and at the end of this period.
Results:
The findings, following 24 sessions in the cardiac rehabilitation program, showed that the functional capacity (P = 0.00) and all lipid profiles had significantly improved in both the groups, except that the high density lipoprotein cholesterol did not show a significant difference in non-obese females. In addition, comparing the two groups did not show any significant differences in lipid profiles, but the changes in functional capacity were significant (P = 0.00) between the two groups, following the cardiac rehabilitation program.
Conclusion:
The CRP, which was performed by the patients under supervision of a physician and an exercise physiologist, plays a key role in improving the functional capacity (FC) and all lipid profiles in non-obese males and females with coronary artery disease, without any attention to gender differences.
PMCID: PMC3687888  PMID: 23798948
Cardiac rehabilitation program; coronary artery disease; gender; risk factor
5.  Gender differences in risk factors of obese patients after cardiac rehabilitation program 
Background:
Obesity is common in patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and the vast majority of patients entering into cardiac rehabilitation program (CRP) are obese. Regarding the gender differences, the risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD) is recognized to be different between obese men and women. So, the purpose of this study was to explore the effect of CRP in functional capacity (FC) and risk factors, such as obesity indexes, lipid profiles, and fasting blood sugar (FBS) in obese men and women with CHD.
Marterials and Methods:
In an observational study between 2000 and 2011, we evaluated a total of 156 obese men and women patients with CHD who were referred to cardiac rehabilitation of Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Institute. Before and after CRP, FC and risk factors were assessed and all the participants completed this period. Data were analyzed with SPSS software version 15. For comparing the mean of outcomes, independent t tests and paired sample t tests were used.
Results:
Data revealed, after CRP, obese women had significant improvement in most evaluated risk factors except total cholesterol (P = 0.05) and FBS (P = 0.09); and obese men had favorable changes in weight (P = 0.00) and body mass index (P = 0.00), FC (P = 0.00) and total cholesterol (P = 0.02); in spite of no significant differences in other lipid profiles. Comparing the 2 groups did not show any significant differences unless high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (P = 0.01) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio (P = 0.02) had greater improvement in obese women.
Conclusion:
We concluded that CRP is an important step initiating the process of risk reduction and restoration of FC in obese men and obese women with CHD under attendance and supervision of physician, nurse, and exercise physiologist.
PMCID: PMC3703080  PMID: 23853652
Cardiac rehabilitation program; coronary heart disease; gender; obesity; risk factor
6.  Psychological Status and Quality of Life in relation to the Metabolic Syndrome: Isfahan Cohort Study 
Objective. Current study was designed to investigate the association of metabolic syndrome (MetS) with depression, anxiety, psychological distress, and quality of life (QoL). Design. Two hundred and fifteen contributors with MetS and 253 participants without MetS were randomly selected from 2151 participants of Isfahan Cohort Study who were residents of Isfahan city. Measurements consisted of fasting blood samples, anthropometrics, and self-reported data of 12-item General Health Questionnaire, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and European Quality of Life-5 Dimension. Binary logistic regression analysis was used to find the association between MetS and four psychological factors. Results. Participants mean age was 56.3 ± 9.8 years. Male/female ratio was 0.86 (217/251). Mean score of depression (P = 0.003), anxiety (P = 0.018), distress (P = 0.047), and QoL (P ≤ 0.001) was significantly higher in MetS group. There were significant increasing relationships between depression (OR 1.10, 95% CI 1.03–1.22), anxiety (OR 1.03, 95% CI 1.05–1.11), and QoL (OR 1.13, 95% CI 1.05–1.23) and MetS when associations were adjusted for other risk factors, but it was not the case for distress (OR 1.03, 95% CI 0.99–1.08). Conclusion. It might be better to consider MetS as a combination of biological and psychological risk factors. Thus, a person with metabolic disease should be recognized as a patient with these factors and be screened for all of them.
doi:10.1155/2012/380902
PMCID: PMC3363984  PMID: 22675350
7.  The effects of an educational program based on PRECEDE model on depression levels in patients with coronary artery bypass grafting 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;8(1):36-42.
BACKGROUND
Depression is among the most important barriers to proper treatment ofcardiac patients. It causes failure in accepting their conditions, decreases their motivation infollowing the therapeutic recommendations, and thus negatively affects their functionality andquality of life. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of an educational programbased on Predisposing, Reinforcing, Enabling Constructs in Educational Diagnosis andEvaluation (PRECEDE) model on depression level in coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG)surgery patients.
METHODS
This was a quasi-experimental study in which 54 post-bypass surgery patients ofIsfahan Cardiovascular Research Center were investigated. The patients were randomly dividedinto two groups of intervention and control. The data was collected using two questionnaires.Primarily, the cardiac depression scale was used to measure the degree of depression followedby PRECEDE model-based educational questionnaire to identify the role of the educationalintervention on patients. The PRECEDE model-based intervention composed of 9 educationalsessions per week (60-90 minutes each). The patients were followed up for two months postintervention.
RESULTS
Following the educational intervention, mean scores of predisposing, enabling,and reinforcing factors, and self-helping behaviors significantly increased in the interventiongroup compared to the control group (P < 0.001). In addition, a significant difference in meanscores of depression was observed between the two groups following the educationalintervention (P < 0.001).
CONCLUSION
The findings of the current study confirmed the practicability and effectivenessof the PRECEDE model-based educational programs on preventing or decreasing depressionlevels in CABG patients.
PMCID: PMC3448400  PMID: 23056099
Educational Program; PRECEDE Model; Depression; Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery.
8.  Barriers and facilitators of weight management in overweight and obese people: Qualitative findings of TABASSOM project 
Introduction:
Since weight management is affected by various factors, including social and behavioral ones, this study aimed to explore the peoples’ experience of barriers and facilitators of weight management.
Materials and Methods:
This qualitative content analysis was conducted as the initial step of TABASSOM Study. Participants, who tried to reduce their weight at least once, were selected by purposeful sampling method from aerobic fitness clubs, parks, and public offices in Isfahan in 2010. Data saturation was reached after indepth unstructured interviews with 11 participants. Data analysis was done by conventional content analysis method.
Findings:
The participants have intermittently followed weight loss program. Barriers such as physical problems, lack of motivation, lack of work and family support and lack of time have resulted in their failures and outages. The main facilitator to start or restart after stopping such programs for a while was positive psychologic effect.
Discussion and Conclusion:
Findings showed that many problems could prevent weight loss. It is important to identify obstacles that hinder weight management and regimen programs and to discuss them with people before planning for their weight management.
PMCID: PMC3696212  PMID: 23833613
Obesity; overweight; qualitative study

Results 1-8 (8)