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Prev Cardiol. 2004 Winter;7(1):26-33.

Heart to Heart: a computerized decision aid for assessment of coronary heart disease risk and the impact of risk-reduction interventions for primary prevention.

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Division of General Internal Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology, University of North Carolina Hospital, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7110, USA.


Heart to Heart is a computer-based decision aid for patients and providers that provides personalized, evidence-based information about coronary heart disease (CHD) risk and potential risk-reducing interventions. To develop Heart to Heart, the authors used Framing-ham risk equations and systematic reviews of risk-reducing interventions. The Web version was programmed using PHP: Hypertext Processor, a Web-based programming language, and has separate interfaces for providers and patients. The authors subsequently developed a modified version for personal digital assistants. Heart to Heart uses information about a patient's CHD risk factors (age, gender, total and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, diabetes, smoking, systolic blood pressure, and left ventricular hypertrophy) to calculate risk of total CHD events over 5 or 10 years. Patients and providers can then examine the effect of introducing one or more risk-reducing interventions (aspirin, lipid-lowering drug therapy, antihypertensive medication, or smoking cessation) on the patient's CHD risk. Future research will be directed to determining whether Heart to Heart can improve utilization of effective CHD risk-reducing interventions.

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