Online treatment beneficial to heart disease patients

June 12, 2012

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

Half of people aged 40-54 have hardened arteries: study

December 11, 2017
Half of middle-aged people who are normal weight and don't smoke or have diabetes may have clogged arteries, researchers said Thursday, urging stronger measures to lower cholesterol.

Research suggests new pathways for hyperaldosteronism

December 7, 2017
A new study led by researchers at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP), in collaboration with researchers at Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, part of the ...

One-dose gene therapy produces clotting factor, safely stops bleeding in hemophilia B patients

December 6, 2017
A team of gene therapy researchers has reported positive results in a phase 1/2 clinical trial for the inherited bleeding disorder hemophilia B. A single intravenous infusion of a novel bioengineered gene therapy treatment ...

Clot-busting drugs not recommended for most patients with blood clots

December 6, 2017
Not all patients with blood clots in their legs - a condition known as deep vein thrombosis - need to receive powerful but risky clot-busting drugs, according to results of a large-scale, multicenter clinical trial.

Mitochondrial protein in cardiac muscle cells linked to heart failure, study finds

December 5, 2017
Reducing a protein found in the mitochondria of cardiac muscle cells initiates cardiac dysfunction and heart failure, a finding that could provide insight for new treatments for cardiovascular diseases, a study led by Georgia ...

Blood pressure declines 14 to 18 years before death

December 4, 2017
Blood pressure in the elderly gradually begins to decrease about 14 or so years before death, according to a new study published today in the JAMA Internal Medicine.

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.