Online treatment beneficial to heart disease patients

June 12, 2012, British Medical Journal

Patients with vascular disease are at higher risk of suffering a further event or death. Treatment of vascular risk factors by nurse practitioners is proven to be very effective in reducing this risk although treatment goals are often not reached and it is costly and time-consuming. Previous studies did not show clear beneficial effects but this study looks at one year effect in a relatively large group of patients.

Researchers from the University Medical Center Utrecht in The Netherlands, therefore carried out a to assess whether including an internet-based programme would be effective in reducing in patients with the disease.

The internet-based programme included a personalised website, mail communication via the website with a nurse practitioner, self-management support, monitoring of disease control and pharmacotherapy. The study lasted 12 months and included 330 participants.

The main outcome of the study measured a relative change in the Framingham Heart score after one year. The Framingham Heart Score represents the predicted 10-years risk for and is developed for patients free of vascular disease.

Results show that after one year, Framingham Heart Scores had fallen 12% further among patients who took part in the internet-based programme, compared with controls. The programme made a small difference to participants risk scores that was statistically significant in two out of three analyses.

Other outcomes measured included whether the participants had ever smoked, blood pressure, weight, height and . Participants showed improvement in smoking (8 smokers stopped compared to 4 starting in usual care group), BMI, blood pressure and renal function.

The authors conclude that an internet-based nurse-led vascular prevention programme, on top of usual care, may help reduce long term risk of vascular event or death. They stress that the clinical importance of this is "small and limited" but do state that this intervention would be easy to implement in clinical practice and might be useful for various groups of patients at high cardiovascular risk.

Explore further: Treating high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes may lower risk of Alzheimer's disease

Related Stories

Treating high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes may lower risk of Alzheimer's disease

April 13, 2011
Treating high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and other vascular risk factors may help lower the risk of Alzheimer's disease in people who already show signs of declining thinking skills or memory problems. The ...

Two-arm blood pressure check indicator for risk from heart disease or death

January 29, 2012
A systematic review and meta-analysis carried out by researchers at the University of Exeter Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry (PCMD) has found that differences in systolic blood pressure between arms could be a ...

Recommended for you

A nanoparticle inhalant for treating heart disease

January 18, 2018
A team of researchers from Italy and Germany has developed a nanoparticle inhalant for treating people suffering from heart disease. In their paper published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the group describes ...

Starting periods before age of 12 linked to heightened risk of heart disease and stroke

January 15, 2018
Starting periods early—before the age of 12—is linked to a heightened risk of heart disease and stroke in later life, suggests an analysis of data from the UK Biobank study, published online in the journal Heart.

'Decorated' stem cells could offer targeted heart repair

January 10, 2018
Although cardiac stem cell therapy is a promising treatment for heart attack patients, directing the cells to the site of an injury - and getting them to stay there - remains challenging. In a new pilot study using an animal ...

Two simple tests could help to pinpoint cause of stroke

January 10, 2018
Detecting the cause of the deadliest form of stroke could be improved by a simple blood test added alongside a routine brain scan, research suggests.

Exercise is good for the heart, high blood pressure is bad—researchers find out why

January 10, 2018
When the heart is put under stress during exercise, it is considered healthy. Yet stress due to high blood pressure is bad for the heart. Why? And is this always the case? Researchers of the German Centre for Cardiovascular ...

Heart-muscle patches made with human cells improve heart attack recovery

January 10, 2018
Large, human cardiac-muscle patches created in the lab have been tested, for the first time, on large animals in a heart attack model. This clinically relevant approach showed that the patches significantly improved recovery ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.