In patients with lupus, a cardiovascular prevention counseling program reduced the incidence of some cardiovascular disease risk factors, according to recently published findings.
Researchers enrolled 121 patients who were treated for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) at a tertiary care institution and were invited by their physicians to participate in a free, 3-year cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention counseling program. The program consisted of an assessment phase and an educational phase. During the assessment phase, patients were assessed for factors such as blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol profile, BMI, smoking, diet and exercise habits. In the educational phase, health providers spoke with patients, regardless of their CVD risk level, about CVD risk factors, CVD and thrombosis prevention strategies. At the end of each visit, patients were given personalized lifestyle recommendations and a written summary report, as well as a referral to a registered dietician as needed. Researchers prospectively followed participants every 3 months to 6 months to evaluate risk and provide continued education, which was offered by a nurse practitioner and a medical doctor.
At baseline, 41% of patients had abnormal blood pressure; 6% had abnormal blood glucose; 68% had abnormal cholesterol levels; and 64% had abnormal BMI, with a mean BMI of 28.4 kg/m2. Based on data gleaned from the 107 patients (88%) who completed a baseline CVD awareness survey, 42% of patients said they were not aware of their CVD risk; 36% had some but limited knowledge; and 22% were aware of their CVD risk.
During the program, no significant changes were seen in the percentage of patients with abnormal BP, mean systolic BP and mean diastolic BP. In a subgroup analysis of 50 patients with abnormal baseline systolic and/or diastolic BP, significant reductions were seen in abnormal BP (OR = 0.94) and mean systolic BP (-6.12 mmHg). Significant improvement was seen only in mean HDL. A subgroup analysis of 82 patients with abnormal baseline cholesterol profiles revealed a significant decrease in the number of patients with an abnormal cholesterol profile (OR = 0.90), mean HDL and mean triglycerides.
or all patients, a significant decrease was revealed in the proportion of patients classified as having “poor diet,” while a significant increase was seen in patients who ate a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole-grain and high fiber, fish at least twice a week, no more than one alcoholic drink per day and cholesterol-free products. A subgroup analysis of 100 patients with “poor diet” at baseline revealed a significant reduction of the number of patients with poor dietary habits (OR = 0.93).
– by Jennifer Byrne
The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.