Altern Ther Health Med. 2022 Dec 2:AT7274. Online ahead of print.
CONTEXT: Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs caused by atherosclerosis, such as coronary heart disease and stroke, have become major causes of death and disability worldwide. Atherosclerosis is the primary pathological factor causing CVDs. Managing weight, blood pressure, and lipids is one of the tenets of chronic-disease management, including atherosclerosis.
OBJECTIVE: The study intended to investigate the effects of managing weight, blood pressure, and lipids on disease severity in patients with carotid atherosclerosis.
DESIGN: The research team designed a randomized, controlled trial.
SETTING: The study took place in the pediatric department at the First Hospital of Hebei Medical University in Shijiazhuang, Hebei Province, China.
PARTICIPANTS: Participants were 380 patients with carotid atherosclerosis who entered the hospital between March 2018 and June 2020.
INTERVENTION: Participants were randomly assigned, using the random-number-table method, to an intervention or a control group, with 190 participants in each group. Both groups received anti-atherosclerotic treatments, and the intervention group also took part in a program for combined management of weight, blood pressure, and blood lipids.
OUTCOME MEASURES: All measurements occurred at baseline and postintervention. Using a questionnaire, the study measured the changes in the two groups related to alcohol consumption, smoking, high-fat diet, high-salt diet, and lack of exercise. A physical examination provided participants’ weights, blood pressures, and lipid levels, and the Self-Care Ability Assessment Scale (ESCA) provided the changes in their self-management ability. A carotid-artery examination measured parameters related to carotid atherosclerosis, including intima-media thickness (IMT), Crouse scores, plaque-class scores, and plaque-grade scores.
RESULTS: At baseline, no statistically significant differences existed between the groups. Postintervention, the intervention group had significantly greater decreases than the control group for alcohol consumption, smoking, high-fat diet, high-salt diet, lack of exercise, weight, blood pressure, lipid levels, intima-media thickness (IMT) scores, Crouse scores, and plaque-grade scores. Postintervention, the intervention group had significantly greater increases than the control group for self-responsibility, health knowledge, self-concept, and self-care-skills scores.
CONCLUSIONS: A program for management of body weight, blood pressure, and blood lipids can effectively control the severity of carotid atherosclerosis, can prevent the disease’s progression, and can be promoted as a clinical application.