To evaluate the effects of a lifestyle intervention programme in primary healthcare, targeted to patients with moderate to high risk of cardiovascular disease in terms of cardiovascular risk factors, physical activity, and quality of life.
Randomized controlled trial with one-year follow-up, carried out in a primary healthcare centre in Northern Sweden. A total of 151 middle-aged men and women, with hypertension, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes, or obesity were enrolled. The subjects were randomized to either the intervention (n = 75) or the control group (n = 76). A total of 123 subjects completed the one-year follow-up. Interventions: Exercise: supervised endurance and circuit training in groups three times a week for three months. Diet: five group sessions of diet counselling with a dietitian. Follow- up meetings with a physiotherapist were conducted monthly thereafter. Primary outcomes were changes in anthropometry, maximal oxygen uptake, health-related quality of life, and self-reported physical activity. The secondary outcomes were changes in blood pressure and metabolic variables.
After oneyear the intervention group significantly increased maximal oxygen uptake, physical activity, and quality of life and significantly decreased body weight, waist and hip circumference, body mass index, waist-hip ratio, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, triglycerides, and glycosylated haemoglobin. There were significant differences between groups, mean changes (and their 95% confidence intervals, CI) in waist circumference -1.9 cm (-2.80 to -0.90; p<0.001), in waist-hip ratio -0.01 (-.02 to -0.004; p<0.01) and in diastolic blood pressure -2.3 mmHg (-4.04 to -0.51; p<0.05).
A prevention programme in primary healthcare with a focus on physical activity and diet counselling followed by structured follow-up meetings can favourably influence several risk factors for cardiovascular diseases and quality of life in high-risk subjects for at least one year.