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Lifestyle and fitness

Access to personalised cardiovascular risk information boosts lifestyle change

Research has shown that giving patients personalised information about their disease risk can motivate them to make lifestyle changes.

Personalised cardiovascular risk information, including genetic risk scores, may help people to implement positive lifestyle changes, according to preliminary data presented at the European Human Genetics Conference in Milan, Italy, on 16 June 2018[1].

The ongoing prospective study involved 7,328 middle-aged adults from southern Finland who were given personalised information on their ten-year ischaemic heart disease risk via a graphical interface using both traditional and genetic data.

To date, 1,022 participants were reassessed 1.5 years after the initial visit and 88.4% said that knowing their risk information encouraged them to take better care of their health. Overall, 13.7% of participants achieved sustained weight loss of at least 3kg and 17.0% of smokers had quit smoking, compared with an annual average cessation rate of 4.0% in the general population.

The researchers said the findings indicated that personalised disease risk information may be more effective at motivating behaviour change than generalised information.

“Our results show that this approach to managing and interpreting genomic data for individuals is feasible and effective [and] … can be easily adapted to other diseases,” said Elisabeth Widen, one of the authors of the study.

Citation: Clinical Pharmacist DOI: 10.1211/CP.2018.20205283

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