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1.  Improvement of dietary oil consumption following a community trial in a developing country: The role of translational research in health promotion 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2013;9(1):29-37.
This study aimed to determine the effects of the interventions of Isfahan Healthy Heart Program (IHHP) on the type of oil consumed at the population level. It also tried to assess how this strategy has been effective as a health policy.
The IHHP, a six-year community intervention program (2001-07), aimed at health promotion through the modification of cardiovascular disease risk factors. It was performed in Isfahan and Najafabad counties (intervention area) and Arak county (reference area), all in central Iran. This study targeted the whole population of over 2,000,000 in the intervention area. The findings of annual independent sample surveys were compared with the reference area. Dietary interventions were performed as educational, environmental, and/or legislative strategies.
From 2001 to 2007, the mean of changes for hydrogenated oil consumption was -3.2 and -3.6, and for liquid oil it was 3.6 and 2.8 times per week in the intervention and reference areas, respectively (P < 0.001). According to Commerce office record, the increase in liquid oil distribution during 2000-2007 was significantly higher in Isfahan than Arak (34% vs. 25%).
The effects of the simple, comprehensive, and integrated action-oriented interventions of our program could influence policy making and its results at the community level. It can be adopted by other developing countries.
PMCID: PMC3653266  PMID: 23696757
Oil Consumption; Hydrogenated Oil; Liquid Oil; Community Trial
2.  The effects of a comprehensive community trial on cardiometabolic risk factors in adolescents: Isfahan Healthy Heart Program 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;7(4):184-190.
This study aimed to assess the effects of a 6-year-long community-participatory program including school-based interventions on mean values and prevalence of cardiometabolic risk factors among adolescents.
The interventions of this community trial, conducted from 2000 to 2007 in Iran, targeted the whole population (of nearly two millions) living in two cities considered as the intervention area (IA) in comparison with a reference area (RA). Data from surveys conducted before and after interventions was used to compare the differences between the secondary school students of the IA and RA.
The prevalence of hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia declined significantly in girls and boys in the IA (P < 0.01). The prevalence of high LDL-C decreased significantly in the girls in the RA (P = 0.002). Among both sexes in the IA, the prevalence of low HDL-C increased significantly (P < 0.001), whereas it decreased in the girls and boys in the RA (P = 0.04). Although in the IA, the prevalence of overweight and obesity decreased significantly in girls (P = 0.001), it increased in boys (P = 0.001) as well as in the girls of the RA (P = 0.01).
By performing school-based interventions, our study was successful, at least in part, in controlling some cardiometabolic risk factors in adolescents. Such modifications may have long-term impacts on non-communicable diseases prevention in adulthood.
PMCID: PMC3413088  PMID: 23205053
Prevention; Adolescents; Lifestyle; Community Trial; Iran
3.  Changes in serum lipid profile of obese or overweight children and adolescents following a lifestyle modification course 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;8(3):143-148 .
Considering rapid global increase in children obesity and high prevalence of dyslipidemia in obese and overweight children, this study aimed to evaluate the effect of an educational course on changes of lipid profile in children.
This non-pharmacological clinical trial study was performed on 4-18 year-old children attending outpatient clinics of Isfahan Endocrine and Metabolism Research Center (Iran). Anthropometric measurements were conducted for all children. Fasting blood samples were taken from right hand of the participants at the first laboratory visit. Biochemical tests including measurement of total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) were also carried out. Children took part in one educational session in which they were taught about ways and benefits of having regular physical activity once a day and having healthy foods. All children were followed up for about four months and anthropometrics and biochemical tests were repeated. Data was analyzed using SPSS16.
A total number of 412 children (245 girls and 167 boys) were divided into four age groups of under 6, 6-9, 10-13, and 14-18 years old. Baseline anthropometric measures were significantly higher in boys. However, there was no difference between boys and girls in baseline lipid profile. Children's body mass index (BMI) z-score increased in all age groups except for 14-18 year-old boys. In boys older than 10 years, there were significant reductions in LDL-C and TC. In girls over 10 years of age, there was a significant increase in HDL-C. Although anthropometric measurements did not change in children (except for 14-18 year-old-boys), there was a significant reduction in children's lipid profile after the study.
Our study showed that although one session of interventional education had no significant effects on children's anthropometric measurements, it could change their lipid profile. Moreover, the intervention was more effective on improving lipid profile in children over 10 years of age. Therefore, effective interventional strategies must be invented and implemented on children based on their age group.
PMCID: PMC3557010  PMID: 23359278
Children Obesity; Education; Anthropometry; Lipid Profile; Lifestyle
4.  Risk factors of atherosclerosis in male smokers, passive smokers, and hypertensive nonsmokers in central Iran 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;8(2):90-95.
Some studies showed that smoking follows an upward trend in Asian countries as compared with other countries. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of cigarette smoking on cardiovascular diseases and risk factors of atherosclerosis in patients with hypertension.
This study was conducted on 6123 men residing in central Iran (Isfahan and Markazi Provinces) that participated in Isfahan Healthy Heart Project (IHHP). Subjects were randomly selected using cluster sampling method. All the subjects were studied in terms of their history of cardiovascular disease, demographic characteristics, smoking, blood pressure, physical examination, pulse rate, respiratory rate, weight, height, waist circumference, and blood measurements including LDL-C, HDL-C, total cholesterol, triglyceride, fasting blood sugar and 2-hour post prandial test.
While 893 subjects suffered from hypertension, 5230 subjects were healthy. The hypertension prevalence was 2.5 times more in urban areas compared to rural areas that showed a significant difference as it increased to 3.5 times smoking factor was considered. The prevalence of risk factors of atherosclerosis and also cardiovascular complications in patients with hypertension were significantly higher than healthy people. Furthermore, they were higher in smokers with hypertension and those exposed to the cigarette smoke than nonsmokers.
Smoking and passive smoking had an increasing effect on the prevalence of risk factors of atherosclerosis and consequently the incidence of cardiovascular diseases in patients with hypertension.
PMCID: PMC3463995  PMID: 23056110
Hypertension; Cigarette Smoking; Cardiovascular Disease; Risk Factor
5.  Effect of education on anthropometric indices in obese parents and children after one year of follow-up 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;8(1):21-26.
Childhood obesity has reached epidemic levels. Children obesity predisposes them to risk of cardiac disease in adulthood. Environmental factors, lifestyle preferences, and cultural environment play pivotal roles in the rising prevalence of obesity worldwide. Furthermore, family life style has a great influence on children obesity. This study aimed to determine the effect of family-oriented weight reduction program on the children’s anthropometric measurements.
This was a non-pharmacological clinical trial study which was performed on 4-18 years old children attending outpatient clinics of Isfahan Endocrine and Metabolism. Anthropometric measurements were recorded for all the participants. Children took part in one educational session in which they were taught about ways and benefits of having a regular physical activity each day and also benefits of having healthy nutrition. All the participants took part in every 4 months one-hour educational sessions and their anthropometrics were measured.
Fifty eight single-mother families participated in this study. Fourteen single-father families started the intervention but did not follow it to the end. Children’s body mass index (BMI) z-score decreased significantly after the study. Children waist circumference (WC) and hip circumference (HC) significantly increased. Mothers WC and waist to hip ratio (WHR) increased significantly. Regression test showed that mother BMI was an independent factor (B = 0.307; P < 0.021). The effect of the pattern of children’s BMI changed across a one-year period.
Our study showed significant effect of repetitive family life style education on children’s BMI z-score changes. Family, as the first place for children behavior formation, must be regarded as one of the best place to tackle childhood obesity.
PMCID: PMC3448397  PMID: 23056096
Children Obesity; Parents; Life Style Intervention; Education; Anthropometric Indices
6.  Do Intervention Strategies of Women Healthy Heart Project (WHHP) Impact on Differently on Working and Housewives? 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2011;6(4):129-135.
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the possible difference of the impact of Women Healthy Heart Project on lifestyle, as well as physical/biochemical parameters of working women and housewives.
This was a community-based intervention study conducted over 5 years (2002-2007) in the counties of Isfahan and Najafabad (intervention areas) and Arak (control). Pre-study situation analysis of women was followed by 5 years of wide-ranging interventions (educational/environmental) conducted by various organizations using different methodologies. The interventions were aimed at modifying/improving lifestyle by increasing physical activity, encouraging healthy eating, and tobacco use cessation. The organizations involved in performing the interventions included the local radio and television authority, health/treatment centers, the Red Crescent Society, Municipalities, the Relief Committee, the Center for Retirees’ Welfare, and the Literacy Campaign Organization. After 5 years, final phase same as first phase was planed. The subjects studied in all phases‘ the pre- and post-intervention phases consisted of 10586 women aged above 18 years. Demographic data, obesity index, smoking, physical activity and eating habit were assessed before and after the study. Data were analyzed using SPSS-15 using Student's t-test, chi-square test, the general linear model of ANOVA, and logistic regression.
We studied 10586 women (6105 and 4481 women, pre- and post-intervention, respectively). Mean age of working women was 34.14±10.09 and 34.08±9.35 years before and after the study, respectively. Mean age of housewives before and after the study was 40.05±14.61 and 40.36±15.32 years, respectively. Interventions conducted during 5 years improved eating habits and decreased tobacco use in working women and housewives. In every phase of the study, there was a significant age difference between housewives and working women (P<0.001). Hence data were adjusted according to age in each phase. Overall physical activity of housewives and working women increased, but the percentage of passive smokers among housewives remained unchanged. Waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio changed significantly in housewives following interventions (P<0.001). The parameter which improved significantly in working women was waist circumference (P<0.05). However, after adjusting for age, no significant difference was seen between working women and housewives following interventions.
Community-based interventions, especially those directed at housewives, can lead to significant improvements in lifestyle and cardiovascular risk reduction. It seems that working women require tailored interventions to suit their conditions. Although short-term outcomes may seem insignificant, persistence and continuity of lifestyle changes may lead to reduced prevalence of cardiovascular diseases. Then longer-term studies are warranted.
PMCID: PMC3347831  PMID: 22577430
Women; housewives; working; risk factors; lifestyle modification.
7.  Effect of Different Physical Activity Training Methods on Overweight Adolescents 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2010;6(2):45-49.
In view of the growing trend of obesity around the world, including in our country, and the effect of reduced physical activity in increasing the incidence of obesity and overweight in children and adolescents and limitations of families in providing transport for their children to attend exercise classes, as well as time limitations of students in taking part in these classes, accessing appropriate methods for presenting physical activity training seems essential.
This non-pharmacological clinical trial was performed during six months from May to November 2007 on 105 children and adolescents aged 6-18 years with obesity, randomly assigned to 3 groups of thirty-five. Nutrition and treatment behavior were the same in all groups, but physical activity training in the first group was taking part in physical activity training classes twice a week, in the second group by providing a training CD, and in the third group via face-to-face training. Before and after the intervention, anthropometric indicators were measured and recorded.
Mean body mass index (BMI) of participants in group attended physical activity training classes, and in the group undergone training with CD, after the interventions was significantly lower than that before the intervention.
Our findings demonstrated that training using CDs can also be effective in reducing BMI in overweight and obese children and adolescents as much as face-to-face education and participation in physical training classes. Extending such interventions can be effective at the community level.
PMCID: PMC3347816  PMID: 22577413
Children; Adolescents; Physical activity; Education; Obesity; Treatment

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