Coronary Risk Information May Benefit High Risk Patients

Knowledge of global risk may improve accuracy of risk perception, intent to initiate prevention

MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Adults at moderate to high risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) may be more likely to seek treatment if they are given a quantitative estimate of their risk odds in the form of CHD risk information, but the population-wide effect of disseminating such information remains unclear, according to a review published in the Feb. 8 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Stacey L. Sheridan, M.D., of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and colleagues reviewed 20 articles on 18 studies (including 14 randomized controlled studies) on the impact of giving adults CHD risk information to determine changes in participants' perception of risk.

The researchers found that, among individuals at moderate to high risk of disease, accuracy of perceived risk and intention to start therapy were likely improved after exposure to risk information either on its own or in conjunction with an educational element. However, overall risk communication was most effective when combined with risk feedback or counsel.

"Sheridan et al found evidence that knowledge of global risk improved accuracy of perceived risk and increased the intent to take medications, especially when concomitant counseling was provided," writes the author of an accompanying editorial.

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