Buy this Article for $10.95

Have a coupon or promotional code? Enter it here:

When you buy this you'll get access to the ePub version, a downloadable PDF, and the ability to print the full article.


atherosclerosis, diet, exercise, endothelial function, carotid intima-media thickness



  1. Chan, Sammy Y. MD
  2. Mancini, G.B. John MD
  3. Burns, Susanne BSN
  4. Johnson, Frances F. BHEC, MSc
  5. Brozic, Anka P. BPHE
  6. Kingsbury, Kori MSN, RN
  7. Barr, Sandra BSN
  8. Kuramoto, Lisa BSc
  9. Schulzer, Michael MD, PhD
  10. Frohlich, Jiri MD
  11. Ignaszewski, Andrew MD


PURPOSE: Atherosclerosis contributes to cardiovascular mortality and morbidity even with aggressive lipid management. Our objective is to determine whether a combined pharmacological and lifestyle intervention can improve atherosclerosis.


METHODS: We conducted a 2-year observational study at a specialized clinic in a tertiary care hospital. One hundred fifty-six subjects with coronary disease were enrolled in an intensive pharmacological management and lifestyle measures (including counseling and exercise training) program designed to reach specific targets. The main outcome measures were carotid intima media thickness and plaque area; brachial artery flow-mediated dilation; nitroglycerin-mediated dilation; flow-mediated dilation-nitroglycerin-mediated dilation ratio; laboratory parameters including lipids, glucose, creatinine, and homocysteine; and physical fitness.


RESULTS: At completion, there were improvements in lipids and physical fitness. There were no overall changes in flow-mediated dilation, nitroglycerin-mediated dilation, or carotid intima media thickness in the entire cohort. However, multivariate logistic regression showed that dietary and exercise variables, such as increasing fiber intake and reducing body weight and body fat percentage, were independent predictors of improvements in endothelial function and carotid plaque burden.


CONCLUSIONS: Even in the setting of intensive pharmacological therapy, lifestyle interventions, including exercise training and dietary changes, are important determinants of improved endothelial function and atherosclerosis.