Healthy ageing through internet counselling in the elderly (HATICE): a multinational, randomised controlled trial

Lancet Digit Health. 2019 Dec;1(8):e424-e434. doi: 10.1016/S2589-7500(19)30153-0. Epub 2019 Nov 14.


Background: Although web-based interventions have been promoted for cardiovascular risk management over the past decade, there is limited evidence for effectiveness of these interventions in people older than 65 years. The healthy ageing through internet counselling in the elderly (HATICE) trial aimed to determine whether a coach-supported internet intervention for self-management can reduce cardiovascular risk in community-dwelling older people.

Methods: This prospective open-label, blinded endpoint clinical trial among people age 65 years or over at increased risk of cardiovascular disease randomly assigned participants in the Netherlands, Finland, and France to an interactive internet intervention stimulating coach-supported self-management or a control platform. Primary outcome was the difference from baseline to 18 months on a standardised composite score (Z score) of systolic blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, and body-mass index (BMI). Secondary outcomes included individual risk factors and cardiovascular endpoints. This trial is registered with the ISRCTN registry, 48151589, and is closed to accrual.

Findings: Among 2724 participants, complete primary outcome data were available for 2398 (88%). After 18 months, the primary outcome improved in the intervention group versus the control group (0·09 vs 0·04, respectively; mean difference -0·05, 95% CI -0·08 to -0·01; p=0·008). For individual components of the primary outcome, mean differences (intervention vs control) were systolic blood pressure -1·79 mm Hg versus -0·67 mm Hg (-1·12, -2·51 to 0·27); BMI -0·23 kg/m2 versus -0·08 kg/m2 (-0·15, -0·28 to -0·01); and LDL -0·12 mmol/L versus -0·07 mmol/L (-0·05, -0·11 to 0·01). Cardiovascular disease occurred in 30 (2·2%) of 1382 patients in the intervention versus 32 (2·4%) of 1333 patients in the control group (hazard ratio 0·86, 95% CI 0·52 to 1·43).

Interpretation: Coach-supported self-management of cardiovascular risk factors using an interactive internet intervention is feasible in an older population, and leads to a modest improvement of cardiovascular risk profile. When implemented on a large scale this could potentially reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease.

Funding: European Commission Seventh Framework Programme.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Directive Counseling*
  • Female
  • Finland
  • France
  • Healthy Aging*
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Male
  • Netherlands
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk
  • Self-Management*

Associated data

  • ISRCTN/ISRCTN48151589