A Swedish primary healthcare prevention programme focusing on promotion of physical activity and a healthy lifestyle reduced cardiovascular events and mortality: 22-year follow-up of 5761 study participants and a reference group.
To evaluate long-term risk of first cardiovascular (CV) events, CV deaths and all-cause deaths in community-dwelling participants of a cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention programme delivered in a primary care setting.
Individuals who visited a primary healthcare service in Sollentuna (Sweden) and agreed to participate in the programme between 1988 and 1993 were followed. They had at least one CV risk factor but no prior myocardial infarction and received support to increase physical activity using the programme Physical Activity on Prescription and to adopt health-promoting behaviours including cooking classes, weight reduction, smoking cessation and stress management. Participants (n=5761) were compared with a randomly selected, propensity score-matched reference group from the general population in Stockholm County (n=34 556). All individuals were followed in Swedish registers until December 2011.
In the intervention group and the reference group there were 698 (12.1%) and 4647 (13.4%) first CV events, 308 (5.3%) and 2261 (6.5%) CV deaths, and 919 (16.5%) and 6405 (18.5%) all-cause deaths, respectively, during a mean follow-up of 22 years. The HR (95% CI) in the intervention group compared with the reference group was 0.88 (0.81 to 0.95) for first CV events, 0.79 (0.70 to 0.89) for CV deaths and 0.83 (0.78 to 0.89) for all-cause deaths.
Participation in a CVD prevention programme in primary healthcare focusing on promotion of physical activity and healthy lifestyle was associated with lower risk of CV events (12%), CV deaths (21%) and all-cause deaths (17%) after two decades. Promoting physical activity and healthy living in the primary healthcare setting may prevent CVD.