Search tips
Search criteria

Results 1-25 (1251587)

Clipboard (0)

Related Articles

1.  A tailored lifestyle intervention to reduce the cardiovascular disease risk of individuals with Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH): design of the PRO-FIT randomised controlled trial 
BMC Public Health  2010;10:69.
Because of a high cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in people with Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH), early prevention of cardiovascular disease is important for health gain and cost reduction. This project focuses on the development and evaluation of an innovative intervention aiming to reduce CVD risk by promoting a healthy lifestyle among people with FH.
This project is designed as a randomised controlled trial in which individuals with FH will be assigned randomly to a control or intervention group. In the intervention group (n = 200), participants will receive a personalized intervention which is a combination of web-based tailored lifestyle advice and personal counselling by a lifestyle coach. The control group (n = 200) will receive care as usual. Primary outcomes are biological indicators of CVD risk: systolic blood pressure, glucose, BMI, waist circumference and lipids (triglycerides, total, LDL and HDL cholesterol). Secondary outcomes are: healthy lifestyle behaviour (with regard to smoking, physical activity, dietary pattern and compliance to statin therapy) and psychological correlates and determinants of healthy lifestyle behaviour (knowledge, attitude, risk perception, social influence, self-efficacy, cues to action, intention and autonomy). Measurement will take place at baseline, and at 3 and 12 months after randomisation. Additionally, a throughout process-evaluation will be conducted to assess and monitor intervention implementation during the trial.
Results of the PRO-FIT project will provide information about the effects and implementation of a healthy lifestyle intervention for individuals with FH. Our experiences with this intervention will be indicative about the suitability, feasibility and benefits of this approach for future interventions in other high-risk groups, such as Familial Combined Hypercholesterolemia (FCH) and diabetes.
Trial registration number
PMCID: PMC2834628  PMID: 20156339
2.  Design of a RCT evaluating the (cost-) effectiveness of a lifestyle intervention for male construction workers at risk for cardiovascular disease: The Health under Construction study 
BMC Public Health  2008;8:1.
Of all workers in Dutch construction industry, 20% has an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). A major risk factor for CVD risk is an unhealthy lifestyle. The aim of our study is to design a lifestyle intervention for construction workers with an elevated CVD risk, and to evaluate its (cost-) effectiveness.
In a RCT, 692 participants will be randomised to either the control or the intervention group. The control group will receive usual care. For the intervention group, a lifestyle intervention has been designed based on interviews and current literature. The intervention will last 6 months and will comprise 3 face-to-face and 4 telephone contacts, consisting of individual counselling aimed at increasing daily physical activity (PA) and improving dietary behaviour, and/or smoking cessation. Counselling will take place at the Occupational Health Service (OHS), and will be done according to motivational interviewing (MI). Additional written information about healthy lifestyle will also be provided to those in the intervention group. At baseline, after 6 and after 12 months, measurements will take place. Primary outcome variables will be the lifestyle behaviours of concern, i.e. daily PA, dietary intake, and smoking status. Secondary outcome variables will be body mass index (BMI), systolic and diastolic blood pressure, total and HDL blood cholesterol, Hba1c and cardio-respiratory fitness (CRF). Sickness absenteeism and cost-effectiveness will be assessed as well. Multilevel analysis will be performed to compare all outcome measures between the intervention group and the control group.
By improving lifestyle, CVD risk may be lowered, yielding benefits for both employee and employer. If proven effective, this lifestyle intervention will be implemented on a larger scale within the Occupational Health Services in construction industry.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN60545588
PMCID: PMC2254612  PMID: 18173844
3.  The effects of Hartcoach, a life style intervention provided by telephone on the reduction of coronary risk factors: a randomised trial 
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide. Secondary prevention is essential, but participation rates for cardiac rehabilitation are low. Furthermore, current programmes do not accomplish that patients with CVD change their lifestyle in a way that their individual risk factors for recurrent events decrease, therefore more effective interventions are needed. In this study, the effectiveness of the Hartcoach-programme, a telephonic secondary prevention program focussing on self management, is studied.
A multicenter, randomised parallel-group study is being conducted. Participants are 400 patients with acute myocardial infarction (STEMI, NSTEMI,) and patients with chronic or unstable angina pectoris (IAP). Patients are recruited through the participating hospitals and randomly assigned to the experimental group (Hartcoach-programme plus usual care) or the control group (usual care).
The Hartcoach-programme consists of a period of six months during which the coach contacts the patient every four to six weeks by telephone. Coaches train patients to take responsibility for the achievement and maintenance of the defined target levels for their particular individual modifiable risk factors. Target levels and treatment goals are agreed by the nurse and patient together. Data collection is blinded and occurs at baseline and after 26 weeks (post-intervention). Primary outcome is change in cardiovascular risk factors (cholesterol, body mass index, waist circumference, blood pressure, physical activity and diet). Secondary outcomes include chances in glucose, HbA1c, medication adherence, self-management and quality of life.
This study evaluates the effects of the Hartcoach-programme on the reduction of individual risk factors of patients with CVDs. Patients who are not invited to follow a hospital based rehabilitation programme or patients who are unable to adhere to such a programme, may be reached by this home based Hartcoach-programme. If positive results are found, the implementation of the Hartcoach-programme will be extended, having implications for the management of many people with CVD.
Trial registration
PMCID: PMC3502523  PMID: 22734802
Cardiovascular disease; Secondary prevention; Self management; Nurse led telephonic intervention
4.  Cardiovascular disease risk reduction in rural China: a clustered randomized controlled trial in Zhejiang 
Trials  2013;14:354.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major cause of death in China. Despite government efforts, the majority of hypertensive and diabetic patients in China do not receive proper treatment. Reducing CVD events requires long-term care that is proactive, patient-centred, community-based, and sustainable. We have designed a package of interventions for patients at high risk of CVD to be implemented by family doctors based in township hospitals (providers of primary care) in rural Zhejiang, China. This trial aims to determine whether the systematic CVD risk reduction package results in reduced CVD events among patients at risk of CVD compared with usual care, and whether the package is cost-effective and suitable for routine implementation and scale-up.
This is a prospective, open-label, cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) with blinded data analysis. The trial will randomize 67 township hospitals with 31,708 participants in three counties in Zhejiang Province. Participants will be identified from existing health records and will comprise adults aged 50 to 74 years, with a calculated 10-year CVD risk of 20% or higher, or diabetes. In the intervention arm, participants will receive a package of interventions including: 1) healthy lifestyle counseling (smoking cessation, and salt, oil, and alcohol reduction); 2) prescription of a combination of drugs (antihypertensives, aspirin, and statin); and 3) adherence support for drug compliance and healthy lifestyle change. In the control arm, participants will receive usual care for hypertension and diabetes management at individual clinicians’ discretion. The primary outcome is the incidence of severe CVD events over 24 months of follow-up. All CVD events will be defined according to the World Health Organization (WHO) monitoring of trends and determinants in cardiovascular disease (MONICA) definitions, diagnosed at the county hospital or higher level, and reported by the Zhejiang surveillance system. Secondary outcomes include: mean systolic and diastolic blood pressure, blood glucose, serum total cholesterol (TC), and adherence to appointments, and drugs and lifestyle changes.
This trial focuses on risk reduction of CVD rather than specific diseases. It is not designed to compare therapeutic and healthy lifestyle interventions, but rather their combined effects in primary care settings. Through the trial, we intend to understand the effectiveness of the comprehensive CVD reduction package in routine practice. We also intend to understand the barriers and facilitators to implementing the package, and thus to advise on policy and practice change.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials: ISRCTN58988083
PMCID: PMC4015636  PMID: 24160442
Cardiovascular disease; Risk; Events; Randomized controlled trial; Primary care
5.  No significant improvement of cardiovascular disease risk indicators by a lifestyle intervention in people with Familial Hypercholesterolemia compared to usual care: results of a randomised controlled trial 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:181.
People with Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) may benefit from lifestyle changes supporting their primary treatment of dyslipidaemia. This project evaluated the efficacy of an individualised tailored lifestyle intervention on lipids (low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), total cholesterol (TC) and triglycerides), systolic blood pressure, glucose, body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference in people with FH.
Adults with FH (n = 340), recruited from a Dutch cascade screening program, were randomly assigned to either a control group or an intervention group. The personalised intervention consisted of web-based tailored lifestyle advice and personal counselling. The control group received care as usual. Lipids, systolic blood pressure, glucose, BMI, and waist circumference were measured at baseline and after 12 months. Regression analyses were conducted to examine differences between both groups.
After 12 months, no significant between-group differences of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk indicators were observed. LDL-C levels had decreased in both the intervention and control group. This difference between intervention and control group was not statistically significant.
This project suggests that an individually tailored lifestyle intervention did not have an additional effect in improving CVD risk indicators among people with FH. The cumulative effect of many small improvements in all indicators on long term CVD risk remains to be assessed in future studies.
Trial registration
NTR1899 at
PMCID: PMC3392724  PMID: 22490761
6.  Waste the waist: a pilot randomised controlled trial of a primary care based intervention to support lifestyle change in people with high cardiovascular risk 
In the UK, thousands of people with high cardiovascular risk are being identified by a national risk-assessment programme (NHS Health Checks). Waste the Waist is an evidence-informed, theory-driven (modified Health Action Process Approach), group-based intervention designed to promote healthy eating and physical activity for people with high cardiovascular risk. This pilot randomised controlled trial aimed to assess the feasibility of delivering the Waste the Waist intervention in UK primary care and of conducting a full-scale randomised controlled trial. We also conducted exploratory analyses of changes in weight.
Patients aged 40–74 with a Body Mass Index of 28 or more and high cardiovascular risk were identified from risk-assessment data or from practice database searches. Participants were randomised, using an online computerised randomisation algorithm, to receive usual care and standardised information on cardiovascular risk and lifestyle (Controls) or nine sessions of the Waste the Waist programme (Intervention). Group allocation was concealed until the point of randomisation. Thereafter, the statistician, but not participants or data collectors were blinded to group allocation. Weight, physical activity (accelerometry) and cardiovascular risk markers (blood tests) were measured at 0, 4 and 12 months.
108 participants (22% of those approached) were recruited (55 intervention, 53 controls) from 6 practices and 89% provided data at both 4 and 12 months. Participants had a mean age of 65 and 70% were male. Intervention participants attended 72% of group sessions. Based on last observations carried forward, the intervention group did not lose significantly more weight than controls at 12 months, although the difference was significant when co-interventions and co-morbidities that could affect weight were taken into account (Mean Diff 2.6Kg. 95%CI: −4.8 to −0.3, p = 0.025). No significant differences were found in physical activity.
The Waste the Waist intervention is deliverable in UK primary care, has acceptable recruitment and retention rates and produces promising preliminary weight loss results. Subject to refinement of the physical activity component, it is now ready for evaluation in a full-scale trial.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN10707899.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12966-014-0159-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4304605  PMID: 25592201
Weight loss; Behaviour change; Diet; Physical activity; Randomised controlled trial; Pilot trial
7.  Long-term lifestyle intervention lowers the incidence of stroke in Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes: a nationwide multicentre randomised controlled trial (the Japan Diabetes Complications Study) 
Diabetologia  2010;53(3):419-428.
The aim of the study was to clarify whether a therapeutic intervention focused on lifestyle modification affected the incidence of vascular complications in patients with established diabetes.
A total of 2,033 eligible Japanese men and women aged 40–70 years with type 2 diabetes from 59 institutes were randomised to a conventional treatment group (CON), which continued to receive the usual care, and a lifestyle intervention group (INT), which received education on lifestyle modification regarding dietary habits, physical activities and adherence to treatment by telephone counselling and at each outpatient clinic visit, in addition to the usual care. Randomisation and open-label allocation were done by a central computer system. Primary analysis regarding measurements of control status and occurrence of macro- and microvascular complications was based on 1,304 participants followed for an 8 year period.
Although status of control of most classic cardiovascular risk factors, including body weight, glycaemia, serum lipids and BP, did not differ between groups during the study period, the incidence of stroke in the INT group (5.48/1,000 patient-years) was significantly lower than in the CON group (9.52/1,000 patient-years) by Kaplan–Meier analysis (p = 0.02 by logrank test) and by multivariate Cox analysis (HR 0.62, 95% CI 0.39–0.98, p = 0.04). The incidence of CHD, retinopathy and nephropathy did not differ significantly between groups. Lipoprotein(a) was another significant independent risk factor for stroke.
These findings suggest that lifestyle modification had limited effects on most typical control variables, but did have a significant effect on stroke incidence in patients with established type 2 diabetes.
Clinical Trial Registration: UMIN-CTR C000000222
Funding: The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00125-009-1622-2) contains a list of members of the Japan Diabetes Complications Study Group, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC2815795  PMID: 20054522
Complications; Lifestyle intervention; Patient education; Stroke
8.  Primary prevention of diabetes mellitus type 2 and cardiovascular diseases using a cognitive behavior program aimed at lifestyle changes in people at risk: Design of a randomized controlled trial 
The number of people with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes mellitus type 2 (T2DM) is growing rapidly. To a large extend, this increase is due to lifestyle-dependent risk factors, such as overweight, reduced physical activity, and an unhealthy diet. Changing these risk factors has the potential to postpone or prevent the development of T2DM and CVD. It is hypothesized that a cognitive behavioral program (CBP), focused in particular on motivation and self-management in persons who are at high risk for CVD and/or T2DM, will improve their lifestyle behavior and, as a result, will reduce their risk of developing T2DM and CVD.
12,000 inhabitants, 30-50 years of age living in several municipalities in the semi-rural region of West-Friesland will receive an invitation from their general practitioner (n = 13) to measure their own waist circumference with a tape measure. People with abdominal obesity (male waist ≥ 102 cm, female waist ≥ 88 cm) will be invited to participate in the second step of the screening which includes blood pressure, a blood sample and anthropometric measurements. T2DM and CVD risk scores will then be calculated according to the ARIC and the SCORE formulae, respectively. People with a score that indicates a high risk of developing T2DM and/or CVD will then be randomly assigned to the intervention group (n = 300) or the control group (n = 300).
Participants in the intervention group will follow a CBP aimed at modifying their dietary behavior, physical activity, and smoking behavior. The counseling methods that will be used are motivational interviewing (MI) and problem solving treatment (PST), which focus in particular on intrinsic motivation for change and self-management of problems of the participants. The CBP will be provided by trained nurse practitioners in the participant's general practice, and will consists of a maximum of six individual sessions of 30 minutes, followed by 3-monthly booster sessions by phone. Participants in the control group will receive brochures containing health guidelines regarding physical activity and diet, and how to stop smoking. The primary outcome measures will be changes in T2DM and CVD risk scores. Secondary outcome measures will be changes in lifestyle behavior and cost-effectiveness and cost-utility ratios. All relevant direct and indirect costs will be measured, and there will be a follow-up of 24 months.
Changing behaviors is difficult, requires time, considerable effort and motivation. Combining the two counseling methods MI and PST, followed by booster sessions may result in sustained behavioral change.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN59358434
PMCID: PMC2446389  PMID: 18573221
9.  Primary Prevention of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus and Large-for-Gestational-Age Newborns by Lifestyle Counseling: A Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(5):e1001036.
In a cluster-randomized trial, Riitta Luoto and colleagues find that counseling on diet and activity can reduce the birthweight of babies born to women at risk of developing gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), but fail to find an effect on GDM.
Our objective was to examine whether gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) or newborns' high birthweight can be prevented by lifestyle counseling in pregnant women at high risk of GDM.
Method and Findings
We conducted a cluster-randomized trial, the NELLI study, in 14 municipalities in Finland, where 2,271 women were screened by oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) at 8–12 wk gestation. Euglycemic (n = 399) women with at least one GDM risk factor (body mass index [BMI] ≥25 kg/m2, glucose intolerance or newborn's macrosomia (≥4,500 g) in any earlier pregnancy, family history of diabetes, age ≥40 y) were included. The intervention included individual intensified counseling on physical activity and diet and weight gain at five antenatal visits. Primary outcomes were incidence of GDM as assessed by OGTT (maternal outcome) and newborns' birthweight adjusted for gestational age (neonatal outcome). Secondary outcomes were maternal weight gain and the need for insulin treatment during pregnancy. Adherence to the intervention was evaluated on the basis of changes in physical activity (weekly metabolic equivalent task (MET) minutes) and diet (intake of total fat, saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, saccharose, and fiber). Multilevel analyses took into account cluster, maternity clinic, and nurse level influences in addition to age, education, parity, and prepregnancy BMI. 15.8% (34/216) of women in the intervention group and 12.4% (22/179) in the usual care group developed GDM (absolute effect size 1.36, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.71–2.62, p = 0.36). Neonatal birthweight was lower in the intervention than in the usual care group (absolute effect size −133 g, 95% CI −231 to −35, p = 0.008) as was proportion of large-for-gestational-age (LGA) newborns (26/216, 12.1% versus 34/179, 19.7%, p = 0.042). Women in the intervention group increased their intake of dietary fiber (adjusted coefficient 1.83, 95% CI 0.30–3.25, p = 0.023) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (adjusted coefficient 0.37, 95% CI 0.16–0.57, p<0.001), decreased their intake of saturated fatty acids (adjusted coefficient −0.63, 95% CI −1.12 to −0.15, p = 0.01) and intake of saccharose (adjusted coefficient −0.83, 95% CI −1.55 to −0.11, p  =  0.023), and had a tendency to a smaller decrease in MET minutes/week for at least moderate intensity activity (adjusted coefficient 91, 95% CI −37 to 219, p = 0.17) than women in the usual care group. In subgroup analysis, adherent women in the intervention group (n = 55/229) had decreased risk of GDM (27.3% versus 33.0%, p = 0.43) and LGA newborns (7.3% versus 19.5%, p = 0.03) compared to women in the usual care group.
The intervention was effective in controlling birthweight of the newborns, but failed to have an effect on maternal GDM.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN33885819
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is diabetes that is first diagnosed during pregnancy. Like other types of diabetes, it is characterized by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. Blood-sugar levels are normally controlled by insulin, a hormone that the pancreas releases when blood-sugar levels rise after meals. Hormonal changes during pregnancy and the baby's growth demands increase a pregnant woman's insulin needs and, if her pancreas cannot make enough insulin, GDM develops. Risk factors for GDM, which occurs in 2%–14% of pregnant women, include a high body-mass index (a measure of body fat), excessive weight gain or low physical activity during pregnancy, high dietary intake of polyunsaturated fats, glucose intolerance (an indicator of diabetes) or the birth of a large baby in a previous pregnancy, and a family history of diabetes. GDM is associated with an increased rate of cesarean sections, induced deliveries, birth complications, and large-for-gestational-age (LGA) babies (gestation is the time during which the baby develops within the mother). GDM, which can often be controlled by diet and exercise, usually disappears after pregnancy but increases a woman's subsequent risk of developing diabetes.
Why Was This Study Done?
Although lifestyle changes can be used to control GDM, it is not known whether similar changes can prevent GDM developing (“primary prevention”). In this cluster-randomized controlled trial, the researchers investigate whether individual intensified counseling on physical activity, diet, and weight gain integrated into routine maternity care visits can prevent the development of GDM and the occurrence of LGA babies among newborns. In a cluster-randomized controlled trial, groups of patients rather than individual patients are randomly assigned to receive alternative interventions, and the outcomes in different “clusters” are compared. In this trial, each cluster is a municipality in the Pirkanmaa region of Finland.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers enrolled 399 women, each of whom had a normal blood glucose level at 8–12 weeks gestation but at least one risk factor for GDM. Women in the intervention municipalities received intensified counseling on physical activity at 8–12 weeks' gestation, dietary counseling at 16–18 weeks' gestation, and further physical activity and dietary counseling at each subsequent antenatal visits. Women in the control municipalities received some dietary but little physical activity counseling as part of their usual care. 23.3% and 20.2% of women in the intervention and usual care groups, respectively, developed GDM, a nonstatistically significant difference (that is, a difference that could have occurred by chance). However, the average birthweight and the proportion of LGA babies were both significantly lower in the intervention group than in the usual care group. Food frequency questionnaires completed by the women indicated that, on average, those in the intervention group increased their intake of dietary fiber and polyunsaturated fatty acids and decreased their intake of saturated fatty acids and sucrose as instructed during counseling, The amount of moderate physical activity also tended to decrease less as pregnancy proceeded in the intervention group than in usual care group. Finally, compared to the usual care group, significantly fewer of the 24% of women in the intervention group who actually met dietary and physical activity targets (“adherent” women) developed GDM.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that intensified counseling on diet and physical activity is effective in controlling the birthweight of babies born to women at risk of developing GDM and encourages at least some of them to alter their lifestyle. However, the findings fail to show that the intervention reduces the risk of GDM because of the limited power of the study. The power of a study—the probability that it will achieve a statistically significant result—depends on the study's size and on the likely effect size of the intervention. Before starting this study, the researchers calculated that they would need 420 participants to see a statistically significant difference between the groups if their intervention reduced GDM incidence by 40%. This estimated effect size was probably optimistic and therefore the study lacked power. Nevertheless, the analyses performed among adherent women suggest that lifestyle changes might be a way to prevent GDM and so larger studies should now be undertaken to test this potential primary prevention intervention.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
The US National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases provides information for patients on diabetes and on gestational diabetes (in English and Spanish)
The UK National Health Service Choices website also provides information for patients on diabetes and on gestational diabetes, including links to other useful resources
The MedlinePlus Encyclopedia has pages on diabetes and on gestational diabetes; MedlinePlus provides links to additional resources on diabetes and on gestational diabetes (in English and Spanish)
More information on this trial of primary prevention of GDM is available
PMCID: PMC3096610  PMID: 21610860
10.  NHS health checks through general practice: randomised trial of population cardiovascular risk reduction 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:944.
The global burden of the major vascular diseases is projected to rise and to remain the dominant non-communicable disease cluster well into the twenty first century. The Department of Health in England has developed the NHS Health Check service as a policy initiative to reduce population vascular disease risk. The aims of this study were to monitor population changes in cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors over the first year of the new service and to assess the value of tailored lifestyle support, including motivational interview with ongoing support and referral to other services.
Randomised trial comparing NHS Health Check service only with NHS Health Check service plus additional lifestyle support in Stoke on Trent, England. Thirty eight general practices and 601 (365 usual care, 236 additional lifestyle support) patients were recruited and randomised independently between September 2009 and February 2010. Changes in population CVD risk between baseline and one year follow-up were compared, using intention-to-treat analysis. The primary outcome was the Framingham 10 year CVD risk score. Secondary outcomes included individual modifiable risk measures and prevalence of individual risk categories. Additional lifestyle support included referral to a lifestyle coach and free sessions as needed for: weight management, physical activity, cook and eat and positive thinking.
Average population CVD risk decreased from 32.9% to 29.4% (p <0.001) in the NHS Health Check only group and from 31.9% to 29.2% (p <0.001) in the NHS Health Check plus additional lifestyle support group. There was no significant difference between the two groups at either measurement point. Prevalence of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking were reduced significantly (p <0.01) in both groups. Prevalence of central obesity was reduced significantly (p <0.01) in the group receiving additional lifestyle support but not in the NHS Health Check only group.
The NHS Health Check service in Stoke on Trent resulted in significant reduction in estimated population CVD risk. There was no evidence of further benefit of the additional lifestyle support services in terms of absolute CVD risk reduction.
PMCID: PMC3524756  PMID: 23116213
Vascular disease; Lifestyle change; Prevention; Multi-factorial risk; Policy implementation
11.  A 3-Year Randomized Trial of Lifestyle Intervention for Cardiovascular Risk Reduction in the Primary Care Setting: The Swedish Björknäs Study 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(4):e5195.
Successfully transferring the findings of expensive and tightly controlled programmes of intensive lifestyle modification to the primary care setting is necessary if such knowledge is to be of clinical utility. The objective of this study was to test whether intensive lifestyle modification, shown previously in tightly-controlled clinical trials to be efficacious for diabetes risk-reduction among high-risk individuals, can reduce cardiovascular risk factor levels in the primary care setting.
Methodology / Principal Findings
The Swedish Björknäs study was a randomized controlled trial conducted from 2003 to 2006 with follow-up on cardiovascular risk factors at 3, 12, 24 and 36 months. A total of 151 middle-aged men and women at moderate- to high-risk of cardiovascular disease from northern Sweden were randomly assigned to either an intensive lifestyle intervention (n = 75) or control (n = 76) group. The intervention was based broadly on the protocol of the Diabetes Prevention Program. The three-month intervention period was administered in the primary care setting and consisted of supervised exercise sessions and diet counselling, followed by regular group meetings during three years. The control group was given general advice about diet and exercise and received standard clinical care. Outcomes were changes in anthropometrics, aerobic fitness, self-reported physical activity, blood pressure, and metabolic traits. At 36 months post-randomisation, intensive lifestyle modification reduced waist circumference (−2.2 cm: p = 0.001), waist-hip ratio (−0.02: p<0.0001), systolic blood pressure (−4.9 mmHg: p = 0.036), and diastolic blood pressure (−1.6 mmHg: p = 0.005), and improved aerobic fitness (5%; p = 0.038). Changes in lipid or glucose values did not differ statistically between groups. At 36 months, self-reported time spent exercising and total physical activity had increased more in the intervention group than in the control group (p<0.001).
Conclusion / Significance
A program of intensive lifestyle modification undertaken in the primary health care setting can favourably influence cardiovascular risk-factor profiles in high-risk individuals.
Trial Registration NCT00486941
PMCID: PMC2664964  PMID: 19365563
12.  Mortality in Pharmacologically Treated Older Adults with Diabetes: The Cardiovascular Health Study, 1989–2001 
PLoS Medicine  2006;3(10):e400.
Diabetes mellitus (DM) confers an increased risk of mortality in young and middle-aged individuals and in women. It is uncertain, however, whether excess DM mortality continues beyond age 75 years, is related to type of hypoglycemic therapy, and whether women continue to be disproportionately affected by DM into older age.
Methods and Findings
From the Cardiovascular Health Study, a prospective study of 5,888 adults, we examined 5,372 participants aged 65 y or above without DM (91.2%), 322 with DM treated with oral hypoglycemic agents (OHGAs) (5.5%), and 194 with DM treated with insulin (3.3%). Participants were followed (1989–2001) for total, cardiovascular disease (CVD), coronary heart disease (CHD), and non-CVD/noncancer mortality. Compared with non-DM participants, those treated with OHGAs or insulin had adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) for total mortality of 1.33 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.10 to 1.62) and 2.04 (95% CI, 1.62 to 2.57); CVD mortality, 1.99 (95% CI, 1.54 to 2.57) and 2.16 (95% CI, 1.54 to 3.03); CHD mortality, 2.47 (95% CI, 1.89 to 3.24) and 2.75 (95% CI, 1.95 to 3.87); and infectious and renal mortality, 1.35 (95% CI, 0.70 to 2.59) and 6.55 (95% CI, 4.18 to 10.26), respectively. The interaction of age (65–74 y versus ≥75 y) with DM was not significant. Women treated with OHGAs had a similar HR for total mortality to men, but a higher HR when treated with insulin.
DM mortality risk remains high among older adults in the current era of medical care. Mortality risk and type of mortality differ between OHGA and insulin treatment. Women treated with insulin therapy have an especially high mortality risk. Given the high absolute CVD mortality in older people, those with DM warrant aggressive CVD risk factor reduction.
The negative impact on mortality of diabetes persists into old age. Elderly people with diabetes might be twice as likely to die from CVD as people without diabetes. More aggressive treatment of CVD risk factors in older patients should be considered.
Editors' Summary
Diabetes is a growing global health problem. By 2030, 300 million people worldwide may have this chronic, incurable disorder, double the current number. People with diabetes have dangerously high amounts of sugar in their blood. Blood-sugar levels are normally controlled by insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas that tells cells to absorb sugar from the blood. This control fails in people with diabetes, either because they make no insulin (type 1 diabetes) or because their cells are insensitive to insulin (type 2 diabetes). Type 1 diabetes is controlled with insulin injections; type 2 diabetes is controlled with diet, exercise, and pills that reduce blood-sugar levels. Long-term complications of diabetes include kidney failure, blindness, and nerve damage. Individuals with diabetes also have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD)—heart problems, strokes, and poor circulation—because of damage to their blood vessels.
Why Was This Study Done?
Epidemiological studies (investigations of disease patterns, causes, and control in populations) have indicated that diabetes increases the risk of death (mortality) from CVD in young and middle-aged people, but it is not known whether this is also true for old people. It is also not known what effect long-term treatment for diabetes has on mortality or whether the risk of death from CVD is decreasing in diabetic people as it is in the general US population. This information would help physicians provide health care and lifestyle advice to people with diabetes. In this study, the researchers have investigated mortality patterns in elderly diabetic people by looking at data collected between 1989 and 2001 by the US Cardiovascular Health Study, an observational study of nearly 6,000 people aged over 65 years (in this type of study participants are observed without imposing any specific changes to their lifestyle, behavior, medical care, or treatments).
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
Participants were screened at the start of the Cardiovascular Health Study for CVD and diabetes (defined as drug-treated disease), for established CVD risk factors such as high blood pressure and smoking, for recently recognized CVD risk factors (for example, subclinical CVD), and for psychosocial factors associated with diabetes that might influence mortality, such as frailty and depression. At this time, about 5% of the participants were taking oral hypoglycemic agents for diabetes and about 3% were taking insulin. During the 11-year study, 40% of the participants died. After adjusting for CVD risk factors and psychosocial factors, the researchers calculated that people treated with oral hypoglycemic agents were 1.3 times as likely to die from all causes and people treated with insulin were twice as likely to die as people without diabetes. The risk of death from CVD was about twice as high in both groups of diabetic participants as in non-diabetic participants; the risk of death from coronary heart disease was increased about 2.5-fold. These adjusted relative risks are very similar to those found in previous studies. The researchers also report that participants treated with insulin were six times more likely to die from infectious diseases or renal failure than nondiabetic participants, and women treated with insulin had a particularly high mortality risk.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that the negative impact on mortality of diabetes persists into old age and that death from CVD is currently declining in both older diabetic people and nondiabetic people. In addition, they show that diabetic people treated with insulin are at a greater risk of dying relative to people without diabetes and those taking oral hypoglycemic agents. This might reflect the type of diabetes that these people had, but this was not investigated. How long participants had had diabetes was also not considered, nor how many people developed diabetes during the study. These and other limitations might mean that the reported excess mortality due to diabetes is an underestimate. Nevertheless, the estimate that elderly people with diabetes are twice as likely to die from CVD as people without diabetes is important. Many elderly people die anyway because of CVD, so this increased risk represents many more deaths than the similar increased risk in younger diabetic populations. Yet, elderly people often receive less-intensive management of CVD risk factors than younger people. The results of this study suggest that rectifying this situation could prolong the lives of many elderly people with diabetes.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
MedlinePlus encyclopedia has pages on diabetes, heart disease, stroke and poor circulation
The US National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases provides patient information on diabetes
Information for patients on prevention, diagnosis, and management of diabetes is available from the America Diabetes Association
Patient information is available from the American Heart Association on all aspects of heart disease, including its association with diabetes
Wikipedia pages on diabetes and cardiovascular disease (note that Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit)
Further information is available about the Cardiovascular Health Study
PMCID: PMC1609124  PMID: 17048978
13.  The Effect of Tobacco Control Measures during a Period of Rising Cardiovascular Disease Risk in India: A Mathematical Model of Myocardial Infarction and Stroke 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(7):e1001480.
In this paper from Basu and colleagues, a simulation of tobacco control and pharmacological interventions to prevent cardiovascular disease mortality in India predicted that Smokefree laws and increased tobacco taxation are likely to be the most effective measures to avert future cardiovascular deaths in India.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
We simulated tobacco control and pharmacological strategies for preventing cardiovascular deaths in India, the country that is expected to experience more cardiovascular deaths than any other over the next decade.
Methods and Findings
A microsimulation model was developed to quantify the differential effects of various tobacco control measures and pharmacological therapies on myocardial infarction and stroke deaths stratified by age, gender, and urban/rural status for 2013 to 2022. The model incorporated population-representative data from India on multiple risk factors that affect myocardial infarction and stroke mortality, including hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, coronary heart disease, and cerebrovascular disease. We also included data from India on cigarette smoking, bidi smoking, chewing tobacco, and secondhand smoke. According to the model's results, smoke-free legislation and tobacco taxation would likely be the most effective strategy among a menu of tobacco control strategies (including, as well, brief cessation advice by health care providers, mass media campaigns, and an advertising ban) for reducing myocardial infarction and stroke deaths over the next decade, while cessation advice would be expected to be the least effective strategy at the population level. In combination, these tobacco control interventions could avert 25% of myocardial infarctions and strokes (95% CI: 17%–34%) if the effects of the interventions are additive. These effects are substantially larger than would be achieved through aspirin, antihypertensive, and statin therapy under most scenarios, because of limited treatment access and adherence; nevertheless, the impacts of tobacco control policies and pharmacological interventions appear to be markedly synergistic, averting up to one-third of deaths from myocardial infarction and stroke among 20- to 79-y-olds over the next 10 y. Pharmacological therapies could also be considerably more potent with further health system improvements.
Smoke-free laws and substantially increased tobacco taxation appear to be markedly potent population measures to avert future cardiovascular deaths in India. Despite the rise in co-morbid cardiovascular disease risk factors like hyperlipidemia and hypertension in low- and middle-income countries, tobacco control is likely to remain a highly effective strategy to reduce cardiovascular deaths.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are conditions that affect the heart and/or the circulation. In coronary heart disease, for example, narrowing of the heart's blood vessels by fatty deposits slows the blood supply to the heart and may eventually cause a heart attack (myocardial infarction). Stroke, by contrast, is a CVD in which the blood supply to the brain is interrupted. CVD has been a major cause of illness and death in high-income countries for many years, but the burden of CVD is now rapidly rising in low- and middle-income countries. Indeed, worldwide, three-quarters of all deaths from heart disease and stroke occur in low- and middle-income countries. Smoking, high blood pressure (hypertension), high blood cholesterol (hyperlipidemia), diabetes, obesity, and physical inactivity all increase an individual's risk of developing CVD. Prevention strategies and treatments for CVD include lifestyle changes (for example, smoking cessation) and taking drugs that lower blood pressure (antihypertensive drugs) or blood cholesterol levels (statins) or thin the blood (aspirin).
Why Was This Study Done?
Because tobacco use is a key risk factor for CVD and for several other noncommunicable diseases, the World Health Organization has developed an international instrument for tobacco control called the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). Parties to the FCTC (currently 176 countries) agree to implement a set of core tobacco control provisions including legislation to ban tobacco advertising and to increase tobacco taxes. But will tobacco control measures reduce the burden of CVD effectively in low- and middle-income countries as other risk factors for CVD are becoming more common? In this mathematical modeling study, the researchers investigated this question by simulating the effects of tobacco control measures and pharmacological strategies for preventing CVD on CVD deaths in India. Notably, many of the core FCTC provisions remain poorly implemented or unenforced in India even though it became a party to the convention in 2005. Moreover, experts predict that, over the next decade, this middle-income country will contribute more than any other nation to the global increase in CVD deaths.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers developed a microsimulation model (a computer model that operates at the level of individuals) to quantify the likely effects of various tobacco control measures and pharmacological therapies on deaths from myocardial infarction and stroke in India between 2013 and 2022. They incorporated population-representative data from India on risk factors that affect myocardial infarction and stroke mortality and on tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke into their model. They then simulated the effects of five tobacco control measures—smoke-free legislation, tobacco taxation, provision of brief cessation advice by health care providers, mass media campaigns, and advertising bans—and increased access to aspirin, antihypertensive drugs, and statins on deaths from myocardial infarction and stroke. Smoke-free legislation and tobacco taxation are likely to be the most effective strategies for reducing myocardial infarction and stroke deaths over the next decade, according to the model, and the effects of these strategies are likely to be substantially larger than those achieved by drug therapies under current health system conditions. If the effects of smoke-free legislation and tobacco taxation are additive, the model predicts that these two measures alone could avert about 9 million deaths, that is, a quarter of the expected deaths from myocardial infarction and stroke in India over the next 10 years, and that a combination of tobacco control policies and pharmacological interventions could avert up to a third of these deaths.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that the implementation of smoke-free laws and the introduction of increased tobacco taxes in India would yield substantial and rapid health benefits by averting future CVD deaths. The accuracy of these findings is likely to be affected by the many assumptions included in the mathematical model and by the quality of the data fed into it. Importantly, however, these finding suggest that, despite the rise in other CVD risk factors such as hypertension and hyperlipidemia, tobacco control is likely to be a highly effective strategy for the reduction of CVD deaths over the next decade in India and probably in other low- and middle-income countries. Policymakers in these countries should, therefore, work towards fuller and faster implementation of the core FCTC provisions to boost their efforts to reduce deaths from CVD.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at
The American Heart Association provides information on all aspects of cardiovascular disease; its website includes personal stories about heart attacks and stroke
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has information on heart disease and on stroke (in English and Spanish
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information about cardiovascular disease and stroke
MedlinePlus provides links to other sources of information on heart diseases, vascular diseases, and stroke (in English and Spanish)
The World Health Organization provides information (in several languages) about the dangers of tobacco, about the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, and about noncommunicable diseases; its Global Noncommunicable Disease Network (NCDnet) aims to help low- and middle- income countries reduce illness and death caused by CVD and other noncommunicable diseases
SmokeFree, a website provided by the UK National Health Service, offers advice on quitting smoking and includes personal stories from people who have stopped smoking, supported by the US National Cancer Institute and other US agencies, offers online tools and resources to help people quit smoking
PMCID: PMC3706364  PMID: 23874160
14.  Study protocol for BeWEL: The impact of a BodyWEight and physicaL activity intervention on adults at risk of developing colorectal adenomas 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:184.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second highest cause of cancer death in the UK. Most cases occur in people over 50 years and CRC often co-exists with other lifestyle related disorders including obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). These diseases share risk factors related to the metabolic syndrome including large body size, abnormal lipids and markers of insulin resistance indicating common aetiological pathways.
This 3 year study will be a two-arm, multicentre, randomised controlled trial comparing the BeWEL lifestyle (diet, physical activity and behaviour change) programme against usual care. The pre-trial development will take 6 months and participants will be recruited over a 12 month period and undertake the intervention and follow up for 12 months (total 24 months recruitment and intervention implementation) with a further 6 months for data collection, analysis and interpretation.
Four hundred and fifty two participants who have had a colorectal adenoma detected and removed (through the national colorectal screening programme) will provide 80% power to detect a weight loss of 7% over 12 months.
Primary outcomes are changes in body weight and waist circumference. Secondary outcomes will include cardiovascular risk factors, psycho-social measures and intervention costs.
The results from this study will enhance the evidence base for lifestyle change in patients at higher risk of chronic disease including obesity related cancers.
International Standard Randomised Controlled Trials No: ISRCTN53033856
PMCID: PMC3071320  PMID: 21439044
15.  The Prevention Of WEight Regain in diabetes type 2 (POWER) study: the effectiveness of adding a combined psychological intervention to a very low calorie diet, design and pilot data of a randomized controlled trial 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:1026.
Obesity is of major pathogenetic importance to type 2 diabetes, it contributes to poor glycemic control and increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Over 80% of patients with diabetes type 2 are overweight. To achieve a more favourable risk profile, changes in diet and lifestyle are needed. However, current treatment programs for obese DM type 2 patients are not effective in the long term. In this RCT, we compare the effectiveness of a Combined Psychological Intervention (CPI) and usual care in maintaining the favourable effects on weight and risk profile during 2 years of follow-up after a Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD).
Methods and design
In a randomised parallel group intervention study, 140 patients with type 2 diabetes and overweight (BMI>27 kg/m2) will be recruited from the outpatient department of the Erasmus Medical Centre.
After obtaining ≥5% of weight loss with a VLCD, participants will be randomly assigned to CPI or usual care for 10 weeks. CPI consists of cognitive behaviour therapy, problem solving therapy and proactive coping.
Primary outcome measure is weight change (kg).
Other outcome measures are Body Mass Index (BMI = weight (kg)/length (m)2), waist circumference (cm), systolic blood pressure (mmHg), HbA1c (mmol/mol), lipid levels (LDL, HDL, TG (mmol/l) and chol/HDL-ratio), antidiabetic agents and doses, cardiovascular risk profile (UKPDS), lifestyle and quality of life (EuroQol EQ-5D). Psychosocial parameters are also studied, as secondary outcomes as well as determinants for weight loss.
When successful, we want to conduct an analysis of the cost effectiveness of the intervention as compared to usual care.
We expect that a CPI after a VLCD will be effective in maintaining weight loss and improving cardiovascular risk and glycaemic control, while being cost-effective and improving quality of life in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Clinical trials registration NTR2264
PMCID: PMC3599599  PMID: 23176668
Diabetes mellitus type 2; Overweight; Cognitive behaviour therapy; Very low energy diet
16.  Design and rationale of the tobacco, exercise and diet messages (TEXT ME) trial of a text message-based intervention for ongoing prevention of cardiovascular disease in people with coronary disease: a randomised controlled trial protocol 
BMJ Open  2012;2(1):e000606.
Although supporting lifestyle change is an effective way of preventing further events in people with cardiovascular disease, providing access to such interventions is a major challenge. This study aims to investigate whether simple reminders about behaviour change sent via mobile phone text message decrease cardiovascular risk.
Methods and analysis
Randomised controlled trial with 6 months of follow-up to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability and effect on cardiovascular risk of repeated lifestyle reminders sent via mobile phone text messages compared to usual care. A total of 720 patients with coronary artery disease will be randomised to either standard care or the TEXT ME intervention. The intervention group will receive multiple weekly text messages that provide information, motivation, support to quit smoking (if relevant) and recommendations for healthy diets and exercise. The primary end point is a change in plasma low-density lipoprotein cholesterol at 6 months. Secondary end points include a change in systolic blood pressure, smoking status, quality of life, medication adherence, waist circumference, physical activity levels, nutritional status and mood at 6 months. Process outcomes related to acceptability and feasibility of TEXT ME will also be collected.
Ethics and dissemination
Primary ethics approval was received from Western Sydney Local Health Network Human Research Ethics Committee—Westmead. Results will be disseminated via the usual scientific forums including peer-reviewed publications and presentations at international conferences.
Clinical trials registration number
Article summary
Article focus
The article provides the rationale and protocol for a randomised controlled trial to test the efficacy of mobile phone text message reminders to promote behaviour change and reduce cardiac risk in patients with coronary heart disease.
Key messages
Mobile phone text messages may potentially be a cheap, safe and simple way to promote healthy behaviour, improve mood and increase compliance with cardiac medication. This in turn would reduce cardiovascular risk. The effectiveness of this approach needs to be tested in well-designed and rigorously conducted clinical trials.
Strengths and limitations of this study
The main strengths of the current study are that it uses a simple and inexpensive text message-based programme that is suitable for widespread use and will test this strategy in a randomised, controlled and blinded study. The study is, however, being conducted in only Australian tertiary centres and, therefore, the generalisability is somewhat limited, although the cohort size is relatively large.
PMCID: PMC3263439  PMID: 22267690
17.  The @RISK Study: Risk communication for patients with type 2 diabetes: design of a randomised controlled trial 
BMC Public Health  2010;10:457.
Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) have an increased risk to develop severe diabetes related complications, especially cardiovascular disease (CVD). The risk to develop CVD can be estimated by means of risk formulas. However, patients have difficulties to understand the outcomes of these formulas. As a result, they may not recognize the importance of changing lifestyle and taking medication in time. Therefore, it is important to develop risk communication methods, that will improve the patients' understanding of risks associated with having diabetes, which enables them to make informed choices about their diabetes care.
The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of an intervention focussed on the communication of the absolute 10-year risk to develop CVD on risk perception, attitude and intention to change lifestyle behaviour in patients with T2DM. The conceptual framework of the intervention is based on the Theory of Planned Behaviour and the Self-regulation Theory.
A randomised controlled trial will be performed in the Diabetes Care System West-Friesland (DCS), a managed care system. Newly referred T2DM patients of the DCS, younger than 75 years will be eligible for the study. The intervention group will be exposed to risk communication on CVD, on top of standard managed care of the DCS. This intervention consists of a simple explanation on the causes and consequences of CVD, and possibilities for prevention. The probabilities of CVD in 10 year will be explained in natural frequencies and visualised by a population diagram. The control group will receive standard managed care. The primary outcome is appropriateness of risk perception. Secondary outcomes are attitude and intention to change lifestyle behaviour and illness perception. Differences between baseline and follow-up (2 and 12 weeks) between groups will be analysed according to the intention-to-treat principle. The study was powered on 120 patients in each group.
This innovative risk communication method based on two behavioural theories might improve patient's appropriateness of risk perception and attitude concerning lifestyle change. With a better understanding of their CVD risk, patients will be able to make informed choices concerning diabetes care.
Trail registration
The trial is registered as NTR1556 in the Dutch Trial Register.
PMCID: PMC2922111  PMID: 20687924
18.  A comprehensive cardiovascular disease lifestyle treatment controlled trial among high-risk African Americans 
The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of a comprehensive lifestyle intervention on modifiable cardiovascular risk factors among high-risk African Americans.
The study included a randomized treatment/controlled intervention trial among 136 African Americans residing in Atlanta, GA who were overweight and had elevated blood pressure. The treatment group was exposed to 3-months of a multi-component intervention and the control to an abbreviated 6-week intervention after the completion of the treatment group’s intervention. The main outcomes included mean systolic blood pressure (SBP), mean diastolic blood pressure (DBP), mean waist circumference, mean body mass index (BMI), mean number of times exercise per week, mean number of servings of fruits and vegetables per day, and mean level of daily stress. Data were collected at baseline and at 6-month follow-up. Separate linear regressions were used with an established significance level of p < 0.05.
Results revealed significant net improvement in treatment group when compared to controls in waist circumference, BMI, times weekly exercise, servings of fruit and vegetables per day (p < 0.001, 0.04, 0.02, 0.002, respectively). Diastolic blood pressure also significantly improved within the treatment group for overall hypertensives from baseline to 6-month follow-up (90.9 mmHg to 83.1 mmHg, p = 0.002).
These results show that a comprehensive lifestyle intervention can improve cardiovascular risk factor profile among high risk African Americans. Caregivers should encourage patients to participate in such programs and public health policymakers should allocate resources to community based health oriented organizations to implement comprehensive lifestyle program.
PMCID: PMC4062311  PMID: 24955290
African American; Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors; Lifestyle Modification
19.  Effectiveness of a tailored intervention to improve cardiovascular risk management in primary care: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial 
Trials  2013;14:433.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is an important worldwide cause of mortality. In The Netherlands, CVD is the leading cause of death for women and the second cause of death for men. Recommendations for diagnosis and treatment of CVD are not well implemented in primary care. In this study, we aim to examine the effectiveness of a tailored implementation program targeted at practice nurses to improve healthcare for patients with (high risk for) CVD.
A two-arm cluster randomized trial is planned. We offer practice nurses a tailored program to improve adherence to six specific recommendations related to blood pressure and cholesterol target values, risk profiling and lifestyle advice. Practice nurses are offered training and feedback on their motivational interviewing technique and an e-learning program on cardiovascular risk management (CVRM). They are also advised to screen for the presence and severity of depressive symptoms in patients. We also advise practice nurses to use selected E-health options (selected websites and Twitter-consult) in patients without symptoms of depression. Patients with mild depressive symptoms are referred to a physical exercise group. We recommend referring patients with major depressive symptoms for assessment and treatment of depressive symptoms if appropriate before starting CVRM. Data from 900 patients at high risk of CVD or with established CVD will be collected in 30 general practices in several geographical areas in The Netherlands. The primary outcome measure is performance of practice nurses in CVRM and reflects application of recommendations for personalized counselling and education of CVRM patients. Patients’ health-related lifestyles (physical exercise, diet and smoking status) will be measured with validated questionnaires and medical record audit will be performed to document estimated CVD risk. Additionally, we will survey and interview participating healthcare professionals for exploration of processes of change. The control practices will provide usual care.
Tailored interventions can improve healthcare. An understanding of the methods to reach the improved healthcare can be improved. This research contributes a share of it. Identification of the determinants of practice and developing implementation interventions were two steps which were completed. The subsequent step was implementation of the tailored intervention program.
Trial registration
Name trial register: Nederlands trial register
Web address of trial register:
Data of registration: 11 July 2013
Number of registration: NTR4069
PMCID: PMC3895794  PMID: 24341368
Cardiovascular disease; Tailored implementation of chronic diseases; General practices; Practice nurses; Tailored implementation program; E-health; Physical activity; Motivational interviewing
20.  Improving patient adherence to lifestyle advice (IMPALA): a cluster-randomised controlled trial on the implementation of a nurse-led intervention for cardiovascular risk management in primary care (protocol) 
Many patients at high risk of cardiovascular diseases are managed and monitored in general practice. Recommendations for cardiovascular risk management, including lifestyle change, are clearly described in the Dutch national guideline. Although lifestyle interventions, such as advice on diet, physical exercise, smoking and alcohol, have moderate, but potentially relevant effects in these patients, adherence to lifestyle advice in general practice is not optimal. The IMPALA study intends to improve adherence to lifestyle advice by involving patients in decision making on cardiovascular prevention by nurse-led clinics. The aim of this paper is to describe the design and methods of a study to evaluate an intervention aimed at involving patients in cardiovascular risk management.
A cluster-randomised controlled trial in 20 general practices, 10 practices in the intervention arm and 10 in the control arm, starting on October 2005. A total of 720 patients without existing cardiovascular diseases but eligible for cardiovascular risk assessment will be recruited.
In both arms, the general practitioners and nurses will be trained to apply the national guideline for cardiovascular risk management. Nurses in the intervention arm will receive an extended training in risk assessment, risk communication, the use of a decision aid and adapted motivational interviewing. This communication technique will be used to support the shared decision-making process about risk reduction. The intervention comprises 2 consultations and 1 follow-up telephone call. The nurses in the control arm will give usual care after the risk estimation, according to the national guideline.
Primary outcome measures are self-reported adherence to lifestyle advice and drug treatment. Secondary outcome measures are the patients' perception of risk and their motivation to change their behaviour. The measurements will take place at baseline and after 12 and 52 weeks. Clinical endpoints will not be measured, but the absolute 10-year risk of cardiovascular events will be estimated for each patient from medical records at baseline and after 1 year.
The combined use of risk communication, a decision aid and motivational interviewing to enhance patient involvement in decision making is an innovative aspect of the intervention.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN51556722
PMCID: PMC2267187  PMID: 18194522
21.  Discontinuing Hormone Replacement Therapy: Attenuating the Effect on CVD Risk with Lifestyle Changes 
Concern about the potential risks associated with hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has left postmenopausal women and healthcare providers searching for safe and effective means for cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factor reduction.
The Woman On the Move through Activity and Nutrition (WOMAN) study is a 5-year clinical trial (2002-2006) designed to test whether a lifestyle intervention will reduce measures of subclinical CVD. Participants were randomized at baseline to a health education or lifestyle change group. The impact of lifestyle intervention on CVD risk factors was examined in 240 women who were initially on HRT at baseline and either continued (n=110) or discontinued (n=130) by 18 months.
The lifestyle change group significantly decreased weight, BMI, waist circumference (all p<0.0001), total cholesterol (p=0.02) and LDL-C (p=0.01), improved fat intake (p<0.0001), and increased leisure physical activity (p=0.005) when compared to the health education group. HRT discontinuation resulted in increased total cholesterol (p=0.04) and LDL-C (p=0.009). CVD risk factor changes were further explored by HRT group, stratified by randomized group assignment. Within the health education arm, HRT discontinuers averaged over 22 mg/dL increase in total cholesterol and LDL-C while HRT continuers averaged less than 4 mg/dL (p = 0.004 and 0.002, respectively). No such differences were noted in the lifestyle change group (p = 0.78 and 0.90, respectively).
Lifestyle modification was effective for CVD risk factor reduction in PM women. HRT discontinuation resulted in increased total cholesterol and LDL-C, which were successfully attenuated by a lifestyle intervention incorporating weight loss, physical activity and dietary modification.
PMCID: PMC2040271  PMID: 17533063
22.  Gene-Lifestyle Interaction and Type 2 Diabetes: The EPIC InterAct Case-Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(5):e1001647.
In this study, Wareham and colleagues quantified the combined effects of genetic and lifestyle factors on risk of T2D in order to inform strategies for prevention. The authors found that the relative effect of a type 2 diabetes genetic risk score is greater in younger and leaner participants, and the high absolute risk associated with obesity at any level of genetic risk highlights the importance of universal rather than targeted approaches to lifestyle intervention.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Understanding of the genetic basis of type 2 diabetes (T2D) has progressed rapidly, but the interactions between common genetic variants and lifestyle risk factors have not been systematically investigated in studies with adequate statistical power. Therefore, we aimed to quantify the combined effects of genetic and lifestyle factors on risk of T2D in order to inform strategies for prevention.
Methods and Findings
The InterAct study includes 12,403 incident T2D cases and a representative sub-cohort of 16,154 individuals from a cohort of 340,234 European participants with 3.99 million person-years of follow-up. We studied the combined effects of an additive genetic T2D risk score and modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors using Prentice-weighted Cox regression and random effects meta-analysis methods. The effect of the genetic score was significantly greater in younger individuals (p for interaction  = 1.20×10−4). Relative genetic risk (per standard deviation [4.4 risk alleles]) was also larger in participants who were leaner, both in terms of body mass index (p for interaction  = 1.50×10−3) and waist circumference (p for interaction  = 7.49×10−9). Examination of absolute risks by strata showed the importance of obesity for T2D risk. The 10-y cumulative incidence of T2D rose from 0.25% to 0.89% across extreme quartiles of the genetic score in normal weight individuals, compared to 4.22% to 7.99% in obese individuals. We detected no significant interactions between the genetic score and sex, diabetes family history, physical activity, or dietary habits assessed by a Mediterranean diet score.
The relative effect of a T2D genetic risk score is greater in younger and leaner participants. However, this sub-group is at low absolute risk and would not be a logical target for preventive interventions. The high absolute risk associated with obesity at any level of genetic risk highlights the importance of universal rather than targeted approaches to lifestyle intervention.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Worldwide, more than 380 million people currently have diabetes, and the condition is becoming increasingly common. Diabetes is characterized by high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Blood sugar levels are usually controlled by insulin, a hormone released by the pancreas after meals (digestion of food produces glucose). In people with type 2 diabetes (the commonest type of diabetes), blood sugar control fails because the fat and muscle cells that normally respond to insulin by removing excess sugar from the blood become less responsive to insulin. Type 2 diabetes can often initially be controlled with diet and exercise (lifestyle changes) and with antidiabetic drugs such as metformin and sulfonylureas, but patients may eventually need insulin injections to control their blood sugar levels. Long-term complications of diabetes, which include an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, reduce the life expectancy of people with diabetes by about ten years compared to people without diabetes.
Why Was This Study Done?
Type 2 diabetes is thought to originate from the interplay between genetic and lifestyle factors. But although rapid progress is being made in understanding the genetic basis of type 2 diabetes, it is not known whether the consequences of adverse lifestyles (for example, being overweight and/or physically inactive) differ according to an individual's underlying genetic risk of diabetes. It is important to investigate this question to inform strategies for prevention. If, for example, obese individuals with a high level of genetic risk have a higher risk of developing diabetes than obese individuals with a low level of genetic risk, then preventative strategies that target lifestyle interventions to obese individuals with a high genetic risk would be more effective than strategies that target all obese individuals. In this case-cohort study, researchers from the InterAct consortium quantify the combined effects of genetic and lifestyle factors on the risk of type 2 diabetes. A case-cohort study measures exposure to potential risk factors in a group (cohort) of people and compares the occurrence of these risk factors in people who later develop the disease with those who remain disease free.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The InterAct study involves 12,403 middle-aged individuals who developed type 2 diabetes after enrollment (incident cases) into the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) and a sub-cohort of 16,154 EPIC participants. The researchers calculated a genetic type 2 diabetes risk score for most of these individuals by determining which of 49 gene variants associated with type 2 diabetes each person carried, and collected baseline information about exposure to lifestyle risk factors for type 2 diabetes. They then used various statistical approaches to examine the combined effects of the genetic risk score and lifestyle factors on diabetes development. The effect of the genetic score was greater in younger individuals than in older individuals and greater in leaner participants than in participants with larger amounts of body fat. The absolute risk of type 2 diabetes, expressed as the ten-year cumulative incidence of type 2 diabetes (the percentage of participants who developed diabetes over a ten-year period) increased with increasing genetic score in normal weight individuals from 0.25% in people with the lowest genetic risk scores to 0.89% in those with the highest scores; in obese people, the ten-year cumulative incidence rose from 4.22% to 7.99% with increasing genetic risk score.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that in this middle-aged cohort, the relative association with type 2 diabetes of a genetic risk score comprised of a large number of gene variants is greatest in individuals who are younger and leaner at baseline. This finding may in part reflect the methods used to originally identify gene variants associated with type 2 diabetes, and future investigations that include other genetic variants, other lifestyle factors, and individuals living in other settings should be undertaken to confirm this finding. Importantly, however, this study shows that young, lean individuals with a high genetic risk score have a low absolute risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Thus, this sub-group of individuals is not a logical target for preventative interventions. Rather, suggest the researchers, the high absolute risk of type 2 diabetes associated with obesity at any level of genetic risk highlights the importance of universal rather than targeted approaches to lifestyle intervention.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at
The US National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse provides information about diabetes for patients, health-care professionals and the general public, including detailed information on diabetes prevention (in English and Spanish)
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information for patients and carers about type 2 diabetes and about living with diabetes; it also provides people's stories about diabetes
The charity Diabetes UK provides detailed information for patients and carers in several languages, including information on healthy lifestyles for people with diabetes
The UK-based non-profit organization Healthtalkonline has interviews with people about their experiences of diabetes
The Genetic Landscape of Diabetes is published by the US National Center for Biotechnology Information
More information on the InterAct study is available
MedlinePlus provides links to further resources and advice about diabetes and diabetes prevention (in English and Spanish)
PMCID: PMC4028183  PMID: 24845081
23.  Cost-effectiveness of a European preventive cardiology programme in primary care: a Markov modelling approach 
BMJ Open  2012;2(5):e001029.
To investigate the longer-term cost-effectiveness of a nurse-coordinated preventive cardiology programme for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) compared to routine practice from a health service perspective.
A matched, paired cluster-randomised controlled trial.
Six pairs of general practices in six countries.
1019 patients were randomised to the EUROACTION intervention programme and 1005 patients to usual care (UC) and who completed the 1-year follow-up.
Outcome measures
Evidence on health outcomes and costs was based on patient-level data from the study, which had a 1-year follow-up period. Future risk of CVD events was modelled, using published risk models based on patient characteristics. An individual-level Markov model for each patient was used to extrapolate beyond the end of the trial, which was populated with data from published sources. We used an 11-year time horizon and investigated the impact on the cost-effectiveness of varying the duration of the effect of the intervention beyond the end of the trial. Results are expressed as incremental cost per quality-adjusted life-year gained.
Unadjusted results found the intervention to be more costly and also more effective than UC. However, after adjusting for differences in age, gender, country and baseline risk factors, the intervention was dominated by UC, but this analysis was not able to take into account the lifestyle changes in terms of diet and physical activity.
Although the EUROACTION study achieved healthier lifestyle changes and improvements in management of blood pressure and lipids for patients at high risk of CVD, compared to UC, it was not possible to show, using available risk equations which do not incorporate diet and physical activity, that the intervention reduced longer-term cardiovascular risk cost-effectively. Whether or not an intervention such as that offered by EUROACTION is cost-effective requires a longer-term trial with major cardiovascular events as the outcome.
Trial Registration number
ISRCTN 71715857.
PMCID: PMC3488746  PMID: 23065443
Health Economics; Cardiology; Primary Care
24.  Reduced Glomerular Filtration Rate and Its Association with Clinical Outcome in Older Patients at Risk of Vascular Events: Secondary Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2009;6(1):e1000016.
Reduced glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is associated with increased cardiovascular risk in young and middle aged individuals. Associations with cardiovascular disease and mortality in older people are less clearly established. We aimed to determine the predictive value of the GFR for mortality and morbidity using data from the 5,804 participants randomized in the Prospective Study of Pravastatin in the Elderly at Risk (PROSPER).
Methods and Findings
Glomerular filtration rate was estimated (eGFR) using the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease equation and was categorized in the ranges ([20–40], [40–50], [50–60]) ≥ 60 ml/min/1.73 m2. Baseline risk factors were analysed by category of eGFR, with and without adjustment for other risk factors. The associations between baseline eGFR and morbidity and mortality outcomes, accrued after an average of 3.2 y, were investigated using Cox proportional hazard models adjusting for traditional risk factors. We tested for evidence of an interaction between the benefit of statin treatment and baseline eGFR status. Age, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, C-reactive protein (CRP), body mass index, fasting glucose, female sex, histories of hypertension and vascular disease were associated with eGFR (p = 0.001 or less) after adjustment for other risk factors. Low eGFR was independently associated with risk of all cause mortality, vascular mortality, and other noncancer mortality and with fatal and nonfatal coronary and heart failure events (hazard ratios adjusted for CRP and other risk factors (95% confidence intervals [CIs]) for eGFR < 40 ml/min/1.73m2 relative to eGFR ≥ 60 ml/min/1.73m2 respectively 2.04 (1.48–2.80), 2.37 (1.53–3.67), 3.52 (1.78–6.96), 1.64 (1.18–2.27), 3.31 (2.03–5.41). There were no nominally statistically significant interactions (p < 0.05) between randomized treatment allocation and eGFR for clinical outcomes, with the exception of the outcome of coronary heart disease death or nonfatal myocardial infarction (p = 0.021), with the interaction suggesting increased benefit of statin treatment in subjects with impaired GFRs.
We have established that, in an elderly population over the age of 70 y, impaired GFR is associated with female sex, with presence of vascular disease, and with levels of other risk factors that would be associated with increased risk of vascular disease. Further, impaired GFR is independently associated with significant levels of increased risk of all cause mortality and fatal vascular events and with composite fatal and nonfatal coronary and heart failure outcomes. Our analyses of the benefits of statin treatment in relation to baseline GFR suggest that there is no reason to exclude elderly patients with impaired renal function from treatment with a statin.
Using data from the PROSPER trial, Ian Ford and colleagues investigate whether reduced glomerular filtration rate is associated with cardiovascular and mortality risk among elderly people.
Editors' Summary
Cardiovascular disease (CVD)—disease that affects the heart and/or the blood vessels—is a common cause of death in developed countries. In the USA, for example, the single leading cause of death is coronary heart disease, a CVD in which narrowing of the heart's blood vessels slows or stops the blood supply to the heart and eventually causes a heart attack. Other types of CVD include stroke (in which narrowing of the blood vessels interrupts the brain's blood supply) and heart failure (a condition in which the heart can no longer pump enough blood to the rest of the body). Many factors increase the risk of developing CVD, including high blood pressure (hypertension), high blood cholesterol, having diabetes, smoking, and being overweight. Tools such as the “Framingham risk calculator” assess an individual's overall CVD risk by taking these and other risk factors into account. CVD risk can be minimized by taking drugs to reduce blood pressure or cholesterol levels (for example, pravastatin) and by making lifestyle changes.
Why Was This Study Done?
Another potential risk factor for CVD is impaired kidney (renal) function. In healthy people, the kidneys filter waste products and excess fluid out of the blood. A reduced “estimated glomerular filtration rate” (eGFR), which indicates impaired renal function, is associated with increased CVD in young and middle-aged people and increased all-cause and cardiovascular death in people who have vascular disease. But is reduced eGFR also associated with CVD and death in older people? If it is, it would be worth encouraging elderly people with reduced eGFR to avoid other CVD risk factors. In this study, the researchers determine the predictive value of eGFR for all-cause and vascular mortality (deaths caused by CVD) and for incident vascular events (a first heart attack, stroke, or heart failure) using data from the Prospective Study of Pravastatin in the Elderly at Risk (PROSPER). This clinical trial examined pravastatin's effects on CVD development among 70–82 year olds with pre-existing vascular disease or an increased risk of CVD because of smoking, hypertension, or diabetes.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The trial participants were divided into four groups based on their eGFR at the start of the study. The researchers then investigated the association between baseline CVD risk factors and baseline eGFR and between baseline eGFR and vascular events and deaths that occurred during the 3-year study. Several established CVD risk factors were associated with a reduced eGFR after allowing for other risk factors. In addition, people with a low eGFR (between 20 and 40 units) were twice as likely to die from any cause as people with an eGFR above 60 units (the normal eGFR for a young person is 100 units; eGFR decreases with age) and more than three times as likely to have nonfatal coronary heart disease or heart failure. A low eGFR also increased the risk of vascular mortality, other noncancer deaths, and fatal coronary heart disease and heart failure. Finally, pravastatin treatment reduced coronary heart disease deaths and nonfatal heart attacks most effectively among participants with the greatest degree of eGFR impairment.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that, in elderly people, impaired renal function is associated with levels of established CVD risk factors that increase the risk of vascular disease. They also suggest that impaired kidney function increases the risk of all-cause mortality, fatal vascular events, and fatal and nonfatal coronary heat disease and heart failure. Because the study participants were carefully chosen for inclusion in PROSPER, these findings may not be generalizable to all elderly people with vascular disease or vascular disease risk factors. Nevertheless, increased efforts should probably be made to encourage elderly people with reduced eGFR and other vascular risk factors to make lifestyle changes to reduce their overall CVD risk. Finally, although the effect of statins in elderly patients with renal dysfunction needs to be examined further, these findings suggest that this group of patients should benefit at least as much from statins as elderly patients with healthy kidneys.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
The MedlinePlus Encyclopedia has pages on coronary heart disease, stroke, and heart failure (in English and Spanish)
MedlinePlus provides links to many other sources of information on heart disease, vascular disease, and stroke (in English and Spanish)
The US National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases provides information on how the kidneys work and what can go wrong with them, including a list of links to further information about kidney disease
The American Heart Association provides information on all aspects of cardiovascular disease for patients, caregivers, and professionals (in several languages)
More information about PROSPER is available on the Web site of the Vascular Biochemistry Department of the University of Glasgow
PMCID: PMC2628400  PMID: 19166266
25.  HEART: heart exercise and remote technologies: A randomized controlled trial study protocol 
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide. Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is aimed at improving health behaviors to slow or reverse the progression of CVD disease. Exercise is a central element of CR. Technologies such as mobile phones and the Internet (mHealth) offer potential to overcome many of the psychological, physical, and geographical barriers that have been associated with lack of participation in exercise-based CR. We aim to trial the effectiveness of a mobile phone delivered exercise-based CR program to increase exercise capacity and functional outcomes compared with usual CR care in adults with CVD. This paper outlines the rationale and methods of the trial.
A single-blinded parallel two-arm randomized controlled trial is being conducted. A total of 170 people will be randomized at 1:1 ratio either to receive a mHealth CR program or usual care. Participants are identified by CR nurses from two metropolitan hospitals in Auckland, New Zealand through outpatient clinics and existing databases. Consenting participants are contacted to attend a baseline assessment. The intervention consists of a theory-based, personalized, automated package of text and video message components via participants' mobile phones and the Internet to increase exercise behavior, delivered over six months. The control group will continue with usual CR. Data collection occurs at baseline and 24 weeks (post-intervention). The primary outcome is change in maximal oxygen uptake from baseline to 24 weeks. Secondary outcomes include post-intervention measures on self-reported physical activity (IPAQ), cardiovascular risk factors (systolic blood pressure, weight, and waist to hip ratio), health related quality of life (SF-36), and cost-effectiveness.
This manuscript presents the protocol for a randomized controlled trial of a mHealth exercise-based CR program. Results of this trial will provide much needed information about physical and psychological well-being, and cost-effectiveness of an automated telecommunication intervention. If effective, this intervention has enormous potential to improve the delivery of CR and could easily be scaled up to be delivered nationally (and internationally) in a very short time, enhancing the translational aspect of this research. It also has potential to extend to comprehensive CR (nutrition advice, smoking cessation, medication adherence).
Trial Registration
PMCID: PMC3118189  PMID: 21624142

Results 1-25 (1251587)