Lifestyle interventions reduce cardiovascular risk in patients with coronary artery disease: a randomized clinical trial

Eur J Cardiovasc Nurs. 2014 Oct;13(5):436-43. doi: 10.1177/1474515113505396. Epub 2013 Sep 10.


Background: Nurse-led interventions have proven beneficial to reduce estimated cardiovascular risk.

Aim: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of systematic, nurse-led individual lifestyle counseling sessions on the reduction of 10-year cardiovascular risk scores in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD).

Methods: This was a randomized clinical trial of CAD patients treated at a tertiary referral hospital. The intervention group received nurse-led guidance by means of five face-to-face sessions and telephone contact over the course of one year, starting three months after hospital discharge. Exercise and dietary goals were set for each patient and monitored at each session. The control group received standard medical advice. Patients were stratified by Framingham risk score and compared at the end of the follow-up period.

Results: The final sample comprised 74 patients, 38 in the intervention group and 36 in the control group. Mean age was 58 ± 9 years; 74% of patients were male. A 1.7 point (-13.6%) reduction in risk score was recorded in the intervention group, vs a 1.2 point increase in risk score (+11%) in the control group (p=0.011). Significant between-group differences were detected for weight (intervention, 78 ± 14 kg at baseline vs 77 ± 14 kg at study end; control, 78 ± 15 kg vs 79 ± 15 kg; p=0.04), systolic blood pressure (intervention, 136 ± 22 mm Hg vs 124 ± 15 mm Hg; control, 126 ± 15 mm Hg vs 129 ± 16 mm Hg; p=0.005), and diastolic blood pressure (intervention, 82 ± 10 mm Hg vs 77 ± 09 mm Hg; control, 79 ± 09 mm Hg vs 80 ± 10 mm Hg; p=0.02).

Conclusion: Structured and systematic nurse-led lifestyle counseling effectively reduced cardiovascular risk score.

Keywords: Risk factors; coronary artery disease; intervention studies; nursing; patient education; secondary prevention.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cardiovascular Nursing / methods*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / complications
  • Coronary Artery Disease / nursing*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / prevention & control*
  • Counseling / organization & administration
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nurse's Role
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk Reduction Behavior*