Journal of Community Health

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 116–123 | Cite as

Vida Sana: A Lifestyle Intervention for Uninsured, Predominantly Spanish-Speaking Immigrants Improves Metabolic Syndrome Indicators

  • Jacob Buckley
  • Shahla Yekta
  • Valerie Joseph
  • Heather Johnson
  • Susan Oliverio
  • Anne S. De Groot
Original Paper


Metabolic syndrome is an increasingly common condition that can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. 35 % of adults living in the United States meet the criteria for having metabolic syndrome, with that number being even higher in populations with health disparities. We describe a ‘healthy lifestyles’ program implemented at a free clinic serving a predominantly Hispanic cohort of low-income, uninsured individuals living in Providence, Rhode Island. The “Vida Sana/Healthy Life” (Vida Sana) program uses low literacy, language-appropriate materials and trained peers to educate participants about healthy lifestyles in a setting that also provided opportunities for social engagement. 192 of 126 (65.6 %) participants in Vida Sana completed 6 out of 8 sessions of the Vida Sana program over a 12-month period. At the completion of the program, nearly 90 % of Vida Sana participants showed an increase in their health literacy, and at least 60 % of participants decreased each of the risk factors (blood sugar, cholesterol, body mass index or waist circumference) associated with metabolic syndrome.


Health disparities Uninsured Life-style intervention Metabolic syndrome Diabetes Diabetes prevention project 



Funding for the Vida Sana/Healthy Life program has been provided to CEHC by CVS, the American Medical Association Foundation and the Rhode Island Department of Health (Center for Health Equity and Wellness Program). More information about Clinica Esperanza/Hope Clinic and the Vida Sana/Healthy Life program can be found at

Conflict of interest

The authors report no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacob Buckley
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shahla Yekta
    • 3
  • Valerie Joseph
    • 2
  • Heather Johnson
    • 3
  • Susan Oliverio
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
  • Anne S. De Groot
    • 2
    • 3
    • 7
  1. 1.Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  2. 2.Clínica Esperanza/Hope ClinicProvidenceUSA
  3. 3.University of Rhode IslandProvidenceUSA
  4. 4.Institute for Education on Health and Research, Inc.MiltonUSA
  5. 5.Center for Primary CareRhode Island HospitalProvidenceUSA
  6. 6.Alpert Medical School of Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  7. 7.EpiVax, Inc.ProvidenceUSA

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