Over two thirds of men in England UK, have two or more risk factors for cardio-vascular disease (CVD). When combined with comparatively low levels of engagement with primary health care (PC), innovative approaches and alternative strategies/places are required to connect these hard-to-reach (HTR) men with health improvement programmes.
PURPOSE: To investigate the effect of Premier League Health (PLH), a national programme of CVD risk factor reduction/prevention for men/HTR men delivered in/by English Premier League (EPL) soccer clubs.
METHODS: Health interventions were delivered to males with heightened risk of CVD and not using PC services. Interventions were underpinned by physical activity (PA) (e.g. soccer/gym/walking) and delivered alongside lifestyle educational sessions (e.g. smoking/diet) led by professional health trainers employed by the clubs. Sessions took place at 16 EPL soccer clubs. Validated self-reported data for demographics and CVD risk factors were collected at pre-intervention and 12-week follow-up.
RESULTS: Predominantly, White British men (70.4%, n=2669/3788), aged 18-44 years (80.2%, n=3032/3779) in employment (60.7%, n=1907/3143) responded. Over 85%, (n=1428/1667) presented with ≥2 simultaneous risk-factors for CVD. The majority of men (80%, n=1984/2481), did not perceive their health to be ‘at risk’. A third, (n=860/2580) ‘never’ used PC and were more likely to report 3-4 CVD risk factors when compared to those who did use PC χ2 = 4.17, p<.05). Table 1 shows level of change in CVD risk factors at pre vs. post-intervention.
CONCLUSION: PLH engaged HTR men not using PC services and showed positive change in CVD profiles for participating males.