Background: The aim of this study is to determine the effectiveness of non-pharmacological interventions for prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) events and mortality in healthy adults or those at high risk of CVD.
Methods: An umbrella review about primary prevention of non-pharmacological interventions was undertaken in key databases as PubMed Health, Effective Health Care Program AHRQ, McMaster University and the Cochrane Plus until July 2017. The primary outcomes were the relative risk of fatal and non-fatal CVD events, and mortality. Secondary outcomes were adverse events.
Results: Twenty-four reviews were included of which thirteen reported outcomes of interest. Four of these found a pooled statistically significant risk reduction: dietary supplements of vitamin D, increased consumption of omega 3 fatty acids, Qigong, and counselling or education to modify more than one cardiovascular risk factor. Seven studies reported adverse events but minor or insignificant with respect to the control group.
Conclusions: Four non-pharmacological interventions have been shown to provide a statistically significant reduction in risk of CVD events or overall mortality, with minor adverse events if any. Further research should aim for higher methodological quality and longer follow-up of interventions to establish if these interventions, alone or in combination, translate into definite long-term health benefits.
Keywords: Cardiovascular. Non-prescription intervention. Umbrella review. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses..