A nurse-led preventative cardiology programme can significantly improve lifestyles and reduce primary and secondary cardiovascular risk, suggests a major international study.
According to the European Society of Cardiology – which conducted the EUROACTION study – many patients find it hard to adhere to the recommended lifestyle changes without professional help.
Researchers studied over 10,000 with existing CVD or a high-risk of the condition over three years. Half the patients received an intervention including lifestyle, risk factor and drug treatment assessments for both themselves and their partners, and the rest received usual care.
They found those in the intervention group made significant improvements to their lifestyles, particularly to their diet and exercise regimes. Three quarters of patients achieved the recommended fruit and vegetable consumption, compared to just over a third of controls, and twice a many patients in the intervention group met the recommended weekly intake of oily fish.
Patients in the intervention group also took more physical exercise than controls, with twice as many achieving targets of 30-45 minutes of exercise four to five times per week.