Impact of a Comprehensive Lifestyle Peer-Group-Based Intervention on CV Risk Factors
Enrollment in a peer-group based intervention showed a "significantly greater improvement" in cardiovascular risk factors, as compared to self-managing, according to results from the Fifty-Fifty Program presented Nov. 9 during AHA 2015 in Orlando and published simultaneously in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC).
The study looked at 543 adults in Spain aged 25-50 years with at least one cardiovascular risk factor: hypertension, overweight, smoking or physical inactivity. Results showed that after one year, the mean composite score related to blood pressure, exercise, weight, alimentation and tobacco was higher in the intervention group as compared to the self-managed group. In addition, the improvements in individual components – especially tobacco cessation – and an increase in the overall score were significantly larger in the intervention group.
The authors conclude that their findings 'suggest that a combination of education training and peer-based intervention targeting individuals in a community setting may be an effective strategy for enhancing overall cardiovascular health in an adult at-risk population."
'Although there is no 'one size fits all' approach for peer support around the world, this project was designed for paving the way for future community-based cardiovascular disease prevention programs," said Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, MACC, senior author of the study, and editor-in-chief of JACC. 'We plan to perform a follow-up assessment to determine the long-term sustainability of the peer-group based intervention."
In a related editorial comment, Fatima Rodriguez, MD, and Robert A. Harrington, MD, FACC, note that 'challenging public health problems necessitate creative community-based and community-endorsed health delivery models. As we continue to move forward with digital health interventions, future studies should link peer-based interventions with mobile health for increasing scalability," they add.
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