A Sustainable, Active, Primary Prevention Strategy for Cardiovascular Diseases in Italy for Adults 50+ ‘Projects Cuore and Cardio 50’ – Italy


The main aims and objectives of the Projects Cuore and Cardio 50 -now implemented in 12 Italian Regions and inserted in their Regional Prevention Plan strategies – are: to implement a national cardiovascular register; to describe risk factor distributions (health examination survey); to estimate the cardiovascular risk of the Italian population and to implement the evaluation of cardiovascular risks in clinical practice; to evaluate through active call- , parameters and lifestyle of an asymptomatic population ; to implement the primary prevention programme (counselling on smoking cessation, healthy diet, physical activity).

The target group is asymptomatic men and women, aged 50 years, resident of the Local Health Authority involved, were invited to join a cardiovascular disease prevention programme through active call. The Screening Centre (SC) of the Prevention Department, in collaboration with GPs and Sanitary District, is in charge of the organization of the entire programme. The SC prepares the list of residents and the GPs apply and define the criteria for exclusion and select eligible subjects. Selected subjects are called for a visit. Based on the interview results and the patient’s health conditions, the Health Operator does motivational counselling and proposes specific preventive interventions. The health courses are organised with GPs, local authorities, cultural and voluntary associations and consist in: no smoking groups, walking groups, nutritional groups and individual nutritional counselling. All participants are evaluated through a lifestyle questionnaire. Parameters such as blood pressure (BP), glycaemia, waist circumference and body mass index are collected and recorded with a specific program (cuore.exe) that allows a preventive health balance and divide subjects into different risk groups. In addition to cuore.exe, a calculation of physical activity has been proved to be one of the best prevention factors in CVDs. A model to compare/ integrate screening results with those of the ISS risk chart is to be prepared.

The programme is funded by National Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Its task is to liaise between the Ministry of Health on one hand and regional governments on the other with regards to surveillance, prevention and prompt response to emergencies. An effective partnership is in place: the health courses are organised with the collaboration of GPs, local authorities, cultural and voluntary associations. The results suggest that a preventive program based on the active call of the population by the Department of Prevention could be an effective tool to identify asymptomatic individuals with unknown hypertension and/or hyperglycaemia and to offer lifestyle interventions to lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases.


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(last accessed in March 2017)

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Life Cycle Stages: The Young Old (50-65 yrs) | 
Main Settings: community | healthcare services | 
Specific Topics: nutrition | physical activity | 

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