The Coronary Artery Risk Detection in Appalachian Communities Project began in 1998 as a school-based program that screened fifth graders for potential heart disease.

The project, which screens children free of charge, has grown to also screen kindergarten and second grade children. By the end of 2009, more than 100,000 West Virginia children will have been screened by CARDIAC. As the state remains on the verge of an obesity epidemic, programs like CARDIAC play an important role in combating childhood obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

The program has also inspired intervention programs like Camp NEW You (NEW stands for Nutrition Education and Weight Management.), a joint effort between the CARDIAC project and WVU’s School of Physical Education and Sports Science.

At a two week summer camp, children and their families learn about making better choices to live healthier lives. The camp stresses a healthy diet and exercise rather than weight loss.

Once the camp is over, Dr. William Neal and his colleagues continue to meet with the families and children on a quarterly basis. Outcomes from Camp NEW You show that lifestyle changes can be continued over time.

For more information, visit the CARDIAC Project.

WVU Medicine Health Report: High Cholesterol