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Eur J Public Health. 2020 Mar 24. pii: ckaa048. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckaa048. [Epub ahead of print]

Evaluating the use of the heart age tool in community pharmacies: a 4-week cluster-randomized controlled trial.

Author information

1
Department of Nutrition, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
2
The Lipid Clinic, Department of Endocrinology, Morbid Obesity and Preventive Medicine, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.
3
Division of Epidemiology & Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA.
4
Boots Norge AS, Oslo, Norway.
5
Faculty of Health Sciences, Oslo Metropolitan University, Oslo, Norway.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Joint British Societies have developed a tool that utilizes information on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors to estimate an individual's 'heart age'. We studied if using heart age as an add-on to conventional risk communication could enhance the motivation for adapting to a healthier lifestyle resulting in improved whole-blood cholesterol and omega-3 status after 4 weeks.

METHODS:

A total of 48 community pharmacies were cluster-randomized to use heart age+conventional risk communication (intervention) or only conventional risk communication (control) in 378 subjects after CVD risk-factor assessment. Dried blood spots were obtained with a 4-week interval to assay whole-blood cholesterol and omega-3 fatty acids. We also explored pharmacy-staff's (n=27) perceived utility of the heart age tool.

RESULTS:

Subjects in the intervention pharmacies (n=137) had mean heart age 64 years and chorological age 60 years. In these, cholesterol decreased by median (interquartile range) -0.10 (-0.40, 0.35) mmol/l. Cholesterol decreased by -0.20 (-0.70, 0.30) mmol/l (P difference =0.24) in subjects in the control pharmacies (n=120) with mean chronological age 60 years. We observed increased concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids after 4 weeks, non-differentially between groups. Pharmacy-staff (n=27) agreed that heart age was a good way to communicate CVD risk, and most (n=25) agreed that it appeared to motivate individuals to reduce elevated CVD risk factors.

CONCLUSIONS:

The heart age tool was considered a convenient and motivating communication tool by pharmacy-staff. Nevertheless, communicating CVD risk as heart age was not more effective than conventional risk communication alone in reducing whole-blood cholesterol levels and improving omega-3 status.

PMID:
32206810
DOI:
10.1093/eurpub/ckaa048

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