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June 2022

Finnish Healthy Village Study: Impact and outcomes of a low-cost local health promotion programme

Author(s): Neittaanmaki, L., Halonen, P., Pekkarinen, H., Penttila, I., Parviainen, M.

Journal/Book: Health Promot International. 1996; 11: Walton St, Journals Dept, Oxford, England OX2 6DP. Oxford Univ Press United Kingdom. 105-115.

Abstract: In the Finnish Healthy village Study, the basic health profiles of working-aged people (20-64 years) were characterized in four rural villages in 1986. After that, a 3-year health promotion programme (intervention) was carried out in two of these villages and in two additional villages, in collaboration with the local village governing boards, local primary health care centres, and adult education institutions. The additional two villages served as controls. Based on the outcome evaluation, the mean value of serum cholesterol decreased in the intervention villages from 6.89 to 6.23 mmol/l (10%) and in control villages from 6.41 to 6.02 mmol/l (6%). The mean proportion of HDL-cholesterol of the total increased 28% in the intervention villages and 21% in the control villages. The biggest improvement took place in mean plasma vitamin C concentrations. In the intervention villages, the mean value increased 53%, from 42.1 to 64.6 mu mol/l and in the control villages 29%, from 43.5 to 56.3 mu mol/l. A decrease in mean systolic blood pressure from 142 to 137 mmHg took place in the intervention villages and from 141 to 134 mmHg in the control villages. No decrease was achieved in: mean diastolic blood pressures and body mass indices. The programme was cost-effective as far as nutritional risk factors were concerned. Changing physical exercise patterns of people in rural villages proved to be more difficult than changing dietary habits.

Note: Article E Kumpusalo, Univ Kuopio, Dept Community Hlth & Gen Practice, POB 1627, SF-70211 Kuopio, Finland

Keyword(s): cost-effectiveness; Finland; Healthy Village Study; low cost; CORONARY HEART-DISEASE; NORTH KARELIA PROJECT; HYPERTENSION

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