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Case management to reduce cardiovascular disease risk in American Indians and Alaska Natives with diabetes: results from the Special Diabetes Program for Indians Healthy Heart Demonstration Project.



We evaluated cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors in American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) with diabetes in the Special Diabetes Program for Indians Healthy Heart (SDPI-HH) Demonstration Project.


Multidisciplinary teams implemented an intensive case management intervention among 30 health care programs serving 138 tribes. The project recruited 3373 participants, with and without current CVD, between 2006 and 2009. We examined data collected at baseline and 1 year later to determine whether improvements occurred in CVD risk factors and in Framingham coronary heart disease (CHD) risk scores, aspirin use, and smoking status.


A1c levels decreased an average of 0.2% (P < .001). Systolic and diastolic blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and triglyceride levels decreased, with the largest significant reduction in LDL cholesterol (∆ = -5.29 mg/dL; P < .001). Average Framingham CHD risk scores also decreased significantly. Aspirin therapy increased significantly, and smoking decreased. Participants with more case management visits had significantly greater reductions in LDL cholesterol and A1c values.


SDPI-HH successfully translated an intensive case management intervention. Creative retention strategies and an improved understanding of organizational challenges are needed for future Indian health translational efforts.

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