More than half the people taking part in an award winning cardiovascular disease (CVD ) prevention programme run by the heart and stroke charity Croí quit smoking - one of the risk factors for heart disease.
Other impressive results for the initiative - which was set up in 2009 and which involved 500 participants - included a mean reduction in waist circumference of four centimetres, equating to a 20 per cent decrease in risk of CVD; a reduction in anxiety levels from 31 to 16 per cent and a drop in depression levels from 19 to four per cent. Croi says these results demonstrate the positive effect that a healthy lifestyle can have on quality of life.
The innovative “Croi MyAction” programme, the country’s first dedicated lifestyle intervention initiative, won the Nursing Project of the Year Award recently at the Irish Medical Times 10th anniversary medical healthcare awards in Dublin. It targeted those most at risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
Run in partnership with the HSE West and the Imperial College, London the 12 to16 week programme focuses on lifestyle modification (smoking cessation, healthy food choices and exercise ), medical risk factor management (blood pressure, lipids and glucose ) and prescription medication where appropriate.
The project is managed by Croí nurse, Irene Gibson and is delivered by a multi disciplinary team which includes nurse specialists, a dietician, a physiotherapist and a physical activity specialist under the direction of Dr Ger Flaherty and consultant cardiologist Dr Jim Crowley.
The project received financial support from the HSE West’s primary, community and continuing care department in Galway and the pharmaceutical company MSD Ireland.
Commenting on the award, Croí CEO Neil Johnson paid tribute to the commitment and hard work of all involved.
“This is great news for Croí and gives significant recognition to the pioneering and innovative work being undertaken in the fight against heart disease and stroke. Awards such as this confirm the value of the work being done by Croí and while it is a great boost to everyone in the charity it also serves to confirm that the funds raised through our various fundraising activities are being put to good use in a real and meaningful way.”