The effects of giving coronary risk information to patients

January 01, 0001

The effects of giving coronary risk information to patients

These US authors assessed the effect of providing global coronary heart disease (CHD) risk information to adults through a systematic evidence review. They searched MEDLINE for the years 1980 to 2008, Psych Info, CINAHL, and the Cochrane Database and included English-language articles that met prespecified inclusion criteria.

They found: "We identified 20 articles, reporting on 18 unique fair or good quality studies (including 14 randomized controlled studies). These showed that global CHD risk information alone or with accompanying education increased the accuracy of perceived risk and probably increased intent to start therapy. Studies with repeated risk information or risk information and repeated doses of counseling showed small significant reductions in predicted CHD risk (absolute differences, -0.2% to -2% over 10 years in studies using risk estimates derived from Framingham equations). Studies providing global risk information at only 1 point in time seemed ineffective."

The authors concluded: "Global CHD risk information seems to improve the accuracy of risk perception and may increase intent to initiate CHD prevention among individuals at moderate to high risk. The effect of global risk presentation on more distal outcomes is less clear and seems to be related to the intensity of accompanying interventions."

The key will be future studies of impact on patient outcomes.

For the full abstract, click here.

Arch Intern Med 170(3):230-239, 8 February 2010
© 2010 to the American Medical Assiciation
The Effect of Giving Global Coronary Risk Information to Adults-A Systematic Review. Stacey L. Sheridan, Anthony J. Viera, Mori J. Krantz, et al. Correspondence to Dr. Sheridan:

Category: K. Circulatory, HSR. Health Services Research. Keywords: coronary heart disease, CHD, risk, patient education, systematic review, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Linda French, Toledo, Ohio. Posted on Global Family Doctor 23 February 2010

Pearls are an independent product of the Cochrane primary care group and are meant for educational use and not to guide clinical care.