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REF NO.: 57

SUBJECT: Health coaching study being undertaken at Memorial University’s Primary Healthcare Research unit

DATE: Jan. 3

It’s a new year and adopting a healthier lifestyle is a top resolution for the season. As a primary care initiative, Memorial University’s Primary Healthcare Research unit is currently conducting a study to determine if a health coaching intervention by a certified health coach has the impact to influence lifestyle behaviour and prevent/delay the onset of disease, specifically diabetes and high blood pressure.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in Canada accounting for 34 per cent of all deaths in 2001. CVD becomes more prevalent from west to east with the highest prevalence in Atlantic Canada, particularly Newfoundland and Labrador.
“By lifestyle we mean diet, exercise, smoking and other factors that impact on health,” explained Heather Pitcher, certified health coach. “This is a randomized control trial. We are recruiting people from the general public who are at risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, and/or are overweight.”
In order to qualify in this study, participants must be between the age of 40-60 and not have a current diagnosis of either diabetes or high blood pressure. Participants should be pre-diabetic, and/or pre-hypertensive and/or overweight as defined as a waist circumference of greater than 88 centimeters for females or 102 centimeters  for males as well as a body mass index (BMI) of greater than 30.

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For further information, please contact Heather Pitcher, RN, BN, certified health coach, at 709-777-6225 or; or Sharon Gray, communications co-ordinator (medicine), at 709-777-8397 or


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