Getting the word out: Teaching middle-school children about cardiovascular disease

Mary Anne Toepperwein, Linda A. Pruski, Cheryl L. Blalock, Olivia R. Lemelle, Michael J. Lichtenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) has roots in childhood. Because CVD begins early, a clear strong case for early education focused on CVD primary prevention exists. Scientists are not traditionally involved in disseminating health knowledge into public education. Similarly, public school teachers typically do not have access to biomedical research that may increase their students' health science literacy. One way to bridge the "cultural" gap between researchers and school teachers is to form science-education partnerships. For such partnerships to be successful, teams of scientists and teachers must "translate" biomedical research into plain language appropriate for students. In this work, we briefly review the need for improving health literacy, especially through school-based programs, and describe work with one model scientist-teacher partnership, the Teacher Enrichment Initiatives. Examples of cardiovascular research "translated" into plain language lessons for middle-school students are provided and practical considerations for researchers pursuing a science-education partnership are delineated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-188
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Lipidology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • Adolescents
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cardiovascular health education
  • Cardiovascular risk scores
  • Health education
  • Science educations
  • Teacher professional development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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