Cardiopulmonary MedicineOriginal Article

Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors After an Employer Based Risk Reduction Program: An Observational Cohort Study

David H. Holben, PhD, RDN, LD; Chelsea Rambo, MS, RDN, LD; Cheryl Howe, PhD, CES; Deborah H. Murray, MS, RDN, LD; and Jay H. Shubrook, DO
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: March 16, 2017

Accepted: April 5, 2017

Published: July 1, 2017

J Osteopath Med; 117(7): 425-432

Context: The burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD) continues to be a public health concern. Workplace interventions that focus on modifying lifestyle habits may reduce CVD risk factors in people at risk.

Objectives: To determine the effectiveness of a comprehensive lifestyle intervention program that integrated dietary modification, physical activity, stress management, and behavior modification counseling to reduce the risk of CVD in at-risk adults.

Methods: Twelve 1-year cohorts who participated in a comprehensive employer-sponsored lifestyle intervention program targeting diet, exercise, behavior modification, and stress management between 2006 and 2010 at a rural university in Appalachian Ohio were studied. Body composition, fasting glucose and lipid levels, and maximal oxygen consumption were measured at baseline, after 100 days, and at 1 year. Repeated-measures analyses of variance were conducted to compare measures at baseline with measures at 100 days and at 1 year.

Results: Seventy-four participants (57 women [77.1%], 17 men [22.9%]) of 97 completed the program (76.3% completion rate). Body weight (P<.001); percentage of body fat (P<.001); fat mass (P<.001); body mass index (P<.001); waist circumference (P<.001); blood levels of high-density lipoprotein (P=.035), low-density lipoprotein (P=.011), and glucose (P=.008); serum triglyceride levels (P=.019); blood pressure (systolic P=.028; diastolic, P=.001); and maximal oxygen consumption (P<.001) improved from baseline to 1 year after the intervention. Lean body mass (P=.111) and total cholesterol (P=.053) did not improve.

Conclusions: This employer-based lifestyle intervention program was effective in reducing CVD risk factors after 1 year of treatment. Future studies should examine the effects of the intervention at 2 and 5 years to further assess long-term adoption of the lifestyle changes and maintenance of health promoted by this program.

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