Comparative Effectiveness of Lifestyle Interventions on Cardiovascular Risk Factors Among a Dutch Overweight Working Population: A Randomized Controlled Trial

BMC Public Health. 2011 Jan 24;11(1):49. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-11-49.

Abstract

Background: Overweight (Body Mass Index [BMI] ≥ 25 kg/m²) and obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m²) are associated with increased cardiovascular risk, posing a considerable burden to public health. The main aim of this study was to investigate lifestyle intervention effects on cardiovascular risk factors in healthy overweight employees.

Methods: Participants were 276 healthy overweight employees (69.2% male; mean age 44.0 years [SD 9.2]; mean BMI 29.7 kg/m² [SD 3.1]). They were randomized to one of two intervention groups receiving a six month lifestyle intervention with behavior counseling by phone (phone group) or e-mail (Internet group), or to a control group receiving usual care. Body weight, height, waist circumference, sum of skinfolds, blood pressure, total cholesterol level and predicted aerobic fitness were measured at baseline, at 6 and at 24 months. Regression analyses included the 141 participants with complete data.

Results: At 6 months a significant favorable effect on total cholesterol level (-0.2 mmol/l, 95%CI -0.5 to -0.0) was observed in the phone group and a trend for improved aerobic fitness (1.9 ml/kg/min, 95%CI -0.2 to 3.9) in the Internet group. At two years, favorable trends for body weight (-2.1 kg, 95%CI -4.4 to 0.2) and aerobic fitness (2.3 ml/kg/min, 95%CI -0.2 to 4.8) were observed in the Internet group.

Conclusions: The intervention effects were independent of the used communication mode. However short-term results were in favor of the phone group and long-term results in favor of the internet group. Thus, we found limited evidence for our lifestyle intervention to be effective in reducing cardiovascular risk in a group of apparently healthy overweight workers.

Trial registration: ISRCTN04265725.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weights and Measures / statistics & numerical data
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / therapy
  • Cholesterol / analysis
  • Comparative Effectiveness Research*
  • Control Groups
  • Counseling
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monitoring, Physiologic
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care / economics
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Overweight / epidemiology
  • Overweight / prevention & control*
  • Population Surveillance
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors

Substances

  • Cholesterol

Associated data

  • ISRCTN/ISRCTN04265725