About the Project

What is the Heart-Healthy Lenoir Project?

The Heart-Healthy Lenoir Project is a community-based research project designed to develop and test better ways to reduce heart disease in Lenoir County, from prevention to treatment. The end goal is to create long-term approaches to help Lenoir County reduce heart disease risk and related health problems in the community.  The Heart-Healthy Lenoir Project is a collaborative project between several Lenoir County agencies and community members, UNC at Chapel Hill, and ECU Departments of Family Medicine and Public Health. 


Download this presentation overview of our project to see what we've done so far.  You can also read a brief overview about our project here.

Why Lenoir?

Lenoir County was chosen for this study for many reasons. Lenoir County has many assets including many county agencies & community groups committed to improved health; a strong, resilient community that works together in times of stress (Hurricane Floyd); and recent major economic development.  These assets will be key while we collaborate with the community to not only develop the project, but sustain it beyond the end of the study.

Lenoir County has many challenges that have also made it a good location for our study. Lenoir is centered in the heart of the widely-known "stroke belt" that runs through the southeastern United States, and also experiences poorer health outcomes and greater rates of obesity compared to the rest of the state. In Lenoir County, 40.7% of adults are overweight and 32.7% are obese, compared to state rates of 36.8% overweight and 24.9% obese. Residents of Lenoir County are well-aware of the health problems they are facing, reporting that obesity and high blood pressure are the two most pressing health concerns their county faces. Lastly, the Lenoir County area has more residents living below the federal poverty level (17.8%) versus the rest of the state (13.8), and a much higher rate of Medicaid-eligible residents (23%) compared to the rest of the state (15%). Lenoir County's unique combination of assets and challenges make it an area with great potential for our project to closely work with the community to greatly improve health outcomes.

High Blood Pressure Study:

For this project we will be working with doctors' offices to better understand the barriers for the practice and patient when controlling the patient's hypertension.

Learn more about the High Blood Pressure Study >>

Lifestyle Change Study:

For this portion of the project we will look to improve diet and physical activity, as well as support weight-loss and maintenance of weight loss. We will also work with the community to improve the environment.

Learn more about the Lifestyle Change Study >>

Genetics Study:

The Genetics study will look at how genetics, family history, and the environment work together to affect Cardiovascular Disease Risk.

Learn more about the Genetics Study >>