What We Know:
Weight management programs are designed to reduce cardiovascular risk factors. In addition to weight loss, participants also expect to improve long-term cardiovascular health. However, current research does not show an effect of these programs on long-term cardiovascular outcomes such as stroke or acute myocardial infarction.
Our Plan to Help:
Dr. Graham believes that this is due to a lack of understanding factors affecting recruitment and engagement in these programs and how they relate to improvement in long-term cardiovascular health. Dr. Graham plans to use a nationwide weight management program provided free to Veterans through primary care in the Veterans Healthcare Administration to examine program and community factors resulting in better recruitment and engagement in a weight loss program.
The Potential Impact of this Research:
The findings from this study have the potential to lead to better cardiovascular health for the population as a whole. It will also provide primary care providers with information needed to develop tailored, better focused, and more efficient lifestyle interventions to reduce long-term cardiovascular outcomes. Finally, this project will provide training and lay the ground-work for a future patient-level assessment of the effectiveness of weight management programs within the Veterans Healthcare Administration.