Heart Health Nova Scotia was a five year demonstration project designed to be a public health approach to the prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD). A functioning provincial partnership for Heart Health was established. This body initiated individual programs which addressed public and professional education, nutrition, community and worksite strategies, and inequities related to heart health risks. These programs were evaluated individually to judge the feasibility of program provision through the partnership model.
More specifically, the Heart Health project achieved:
Ten of the eleven community based projects were successful in:
Overall, the Heart Health Nova Scotia project was successful. The directional goals were addressed through the array of programs that were implemented. Community environments were improved through projects developed and implemented by community members. Nutritional aspects of heart health were promoted through the Food for Health programs, and information was distributed through various channels to enable Nova Scotians to choose a heart healthy diet. Programs were designed for individuals, groups, and families; and programs demonstrated the link between the various risk factors linked to CVD. Populations shown to be at greater risk---those in lower socio-economic circumstances---were engaged in most programs with the intent to reduce the disparities in heart health. Programs were developed to address regional disparities as well. Finally, efforts were made to effect policy at various levels of government and community to improve the cardiovascular health of Nova Scotians.
Heart Health Nova Scotia made a strong contribution toward the reduction of CVD in Nova Scotia. The impact that the overall program has had on the provincial population is difficult to estimate due to the time needed to detect change in CVD reduction using traditional measures of morbidity and mortality, and the difficulty controlling for secular trends and other extraneous factors. However, prior to and during this demonstration phase, data systems were established to monitor CVD rates and risk factor incidence/prevalence in the Nova Scotia population. These activities and measures, the development of programs implemented during the demonstration phase, and continued support from the research community, health and community organizations can only hasten the improvement of cardiovascular health in the province of Nova Scotia, and Canada in future years.