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Patient-centred education reduces cardiovascular risk

A study shows that doctors who performed coronary heart disease risk evaluation alongside a patient-centred communication programme lowered coronary heart disease risk by 11.7 per cent

A Pfizer-sponsored study has shown that doctors who performed coronary heart disease risk evaluation alongside a patient-centred communication programme lowered coronary heart disease risk by 11.7 per cent, compared to standard assessment procedures.

The multi-centre study examined 1,100 patients in nine EU countries, the results of which were presented at the European Society of Cardiology in Vienna, Austria, on 3 September 2007.

The study suggests that communicating with patients about their calculated risk and informing them of the implications may encourage them to make lifestyle changes to reduce overall cardiovascular risk.

The trial randomised physicians into two groups. Doctors in the communication programme arm provided patients with a risk evaluation using a risk calculator and educated them about their results and informed them of strategies to control their risk over a six month period.

Doctors in the control group neither informed the patients of their risk nor provided risk evaluation and the patients received usual care. Both patient groups received cardiovascular medications during the study in accordance with the doctorís clinical judgment.

Pfizer's medical director, Jan Buch, said: "These results suggest that when physicians inform their patients of their CV risk as part of their overall CV treatment regimen, the risk of cardiovascular events may be significantly reduced. However, the 11.7 per cent risk reduction did not normalise the patient risk, so additional measures to improve the therapy are needed."

3rd September 2007

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