The health of the Finns. The beginning and planning of the project "Northern Karelia"

Финская соль

Отрывок из книги “Проект «СЕВЕРНАЯ КАРЕЛИЯ»: от Северной Карелии до проекта национального масштаба”, в котором рассказывается о планировании и начале проекта оздоровления финнов. Напомним, данный проект оказал огромное влияние на здоровье финнов, сделав их одной из самых здоровых наций в мире, сократив сердечно-сосудистые заболевания и смертность от них на 80%. Глава «Основная схема проекта «Северная Карелия». Начало проекта и его планирование».

In the late 1960s cardiovascular disease in the West and a large scale in Finland as the epidemic began to cause concern among the General public. Oil to fire was added by the publication in the media and scientific research, especially highlighting the situation in the East of Finland. In addition, the work Karvonen, case, etc. began to focus on the possible role of certain "risk factors".

After petitions from Jan 1971 heart Association of Finland formed a working group, which included several Finnish experts. Contacts were established with who. In large introductory workshop in September 1971 he formulated the basic principles of the project "Northern Karelia" and developed recommendations on further action.

Initially the structure of the project “Northern Karelia” included the Board of Directors (chaired by the Governor of ESA Timonen), steering Committee (chaired by the chief medical officer of the province Veiny Seinen), lead researcher (to Start) and focal point (first in the University of Turku, and then in the University of Kuopio).

Further elaboration and updating of plans was performed by the management of the project. Even at the planning stage it was apparent that a serious control the problem of cardiovascular diseases in North Karelia will largely depend on the potential of primary prevention.

Practices "research in seven countries," Farmington studies and so on. already suggested an important role of specific risk factors. It was planned several experiments to "prove causation", and also revealed indications that risk factors are closely linked with the way of life of the population. It definitely belonged to the province of North Karelia, where was a clear link between major risk factors and common unhealthy diet, Smoking etc.
These assumptions together with the historical background of the events formed the basis for the formation of strategies at the community level. The main objective was to change the structure of the risk factors for the entire population of North Karelia, by covering his entire community: "a Mass epidemic requires massive intervention, and lifestyle changes can only impact on the whole community".
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In the process of formation of these principles impact the team has not forgotten the importance of a thorough assessment of existing work and experience. It was clear that only a thorough scientific approach will allow us to increase our knowledge about how to modify the risk factors among the population, and whether this could lead to a real decline in incidence. The result of these reflections was the "scheme of assessment" described below.

Thus began the world's first major study on prevention of cardiovascular disease at the community level. It was highlighted that qualitative assessment of developments and experience of the North Karelia will allow to bring benefits at the national and international levels. Thus, the "North Karelia" was considered as a pilot, and as a demonstration project for the whole Finland.

Initially, the project "Northern Karelia" was planned for five years. In January 1972 he began a large-scale baseline study in North Karelia and the control area (a neighboring province of Kuopio), was covered by a large control group of the population, and research methods were strictly standardized.

Baseline study was completed in April 1972 and by this time were ready more detailed plans for population-based interventions. The various features and elements of planning (for example, diagnosis of the health status of the local population) is presented below. About the beginning of the study was declared international Health Day, April 7, and shortly thereafter was running multiple monitoring systems (disease registers).

Planning of the project, its first five years, and details of his backstory are described in the monograph, issued by the who, “The North Karelia Project in 1972-77” (Puska et al, 1981).

Read more about the project “Northern Karelia”.

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