Cardiovascular Risk Counseling Improves Statin Adherence

Nurse-led counseling reduces anxiety; improved lipid profile seen for primary prevention patients

THURSDAY, May 31 (HealthDay News) -- For patients taking statins for prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD), extended care with nurse-led cardiovascular risk-factor counseling improves statin adherence and reduces anxiety, with improvements seen in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol for primary prevention patients, according to a study published online May 24 in The American Journal of Cardiology.

Pythia T. Nieuwkerk, Ph.D., of the University of Amsterdam, and colleagues conducted a study involving 201 patients with indications for statin therapy for primary or secondary prevention of CVD. Participants were randomized to receive routine care or extended care at baseline and at three, nine, and 18 months. Extended care consisted of providing patients with cardiovascular risk-factor counseling regarding modifiable and unmodifiable individual risk factors, graphical presentation of their calculated 10-year absolute CVD risk, and targets to reduce risk and improve adherence. Lipid levels and carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) were measured.

Compared with routine care, the researchers found that extended care correlated with significantly lower anxiety and higher statin adherence (P < 0.01 for both). For primary prevention patients, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol was significantly lower, at 2.66 mmol/L, with extended care, compared with 3.00 mmol/L with routine care (P = 0.024). Both groups experienced significantly improved carotid IMT compared with baseline.

"In conclusion, cardiovascular risk-factor counseling resulted in improved lipid profiles in primary prevention patients and higher levels of adherence to statins and lower levels of anxiety in all patients," the authors write.

The study was partially funded by Pfizer.

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