Background: Early identification of cardiovascular diseases allows us to prevent the progression of these diseases. The Bale/Doneen Method, a prevention and treatment program for heart attacks and ischemic strokes, has been adopted nationally in primary care and specialty clinics.
Objectives: The main purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of the Bale/Doneen Method on lipoproteins and carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) for cardiovascular disease prevention and reduction. A secondary purpose was to illustrate the use of latent growth-curve analysis in studying trajectories of clinical outcomes and biomarkers in individual patients over time.
Method: This retrospective analysis is based on 576 patients at a nurse-managed ambulatory clinic who received the heart attack prevention and treatment program from 2000 to 2008. All patients were white; 61% were men; mean age was 55.5 years. Outcome measures include hemoglobin A1c, fasting blood sugar, plaque burden score (PBS), high-density lipoprotein, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), mean carotid artery IMT, and lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 test results. Latent growth-curve analysis was used in modeling changes in these outcome measures.
Results: On average, mean IMT score decreased by 0.01 per year (P < .001), PBS decreased by 0.17 per year (P < .001), LDL decreased by 5.19 per year (P < .001), and lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 decreased by 3.6 per year (P < .05). Hemoglobin A1c increased by 0.04 per year (P < .001). Significant sex and age differences in the initial level and/or rate of change of mean IMT, PBS, fasting blood sugar, high-density lipoprotein, and LDL scores were found.
Discussion: The current findings suggest that the Bale/Doneen Method is effective in generating a positive effect on the atherosclerotic disease process by achieving regression of disease in the carotid arteries.