Background: Various strategies have been used to induce lifestyle changes to reduce ischaemic heart disease (IHD) with various successes. The aim of Inter99 is to assess the effect on IHD incidence of individually tailored non-pharmacological intervention on lifestyle using a newly developed computer-based health educational tool. The article describes the study and baseline results.
Methods: From a population of 61,301 individuals two random samples (high intensity intervention group (A), n = 11,708; low intensity intervention group (B), n = 1308) are screened to assess their absolute risk of IHD. Those at high risk receive individual lifestyle counselling. Individuals in group A are furthermore offered lifestyle counselling in groups on smoking cessation or physical activity/diet over a 6-month period. Individuals in group B are referred to their GP. High-risk persons are re-counselled after 1 and 3 years and the whole group is re-invited after 5 years. The remaining 48,285 (group C) are followed by questionnaire. The total population is followed through central registers. Intermediate end-points are changes in lifestyle, cholesterol, blood pressure and body mass index. Final end-point is reduction in incidence of IHD.
Results: The randomization leads to comparable groups. Participation rate was 52.5%. A total of 60% fulfilled the predetermined criteria for being at high risk for developing IHD. After an individual lifestyle counselling 41% accepted group-based counselling.
Conclusion: This large randomized population based trial discloses a noticeable need for and acceptance of lifestyle intervention in the general population.