Internet Helps Heart Patients Control Risk
Patients at risk of a heart attack fare better when they used the Internet to communicate with their health-care providers, according to a new study.
Those patients showed a 14 percent drop in heart risk scores, said researcher Frank Visseren, MD, PhD, of University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands. Specifically, the system led many patients to lower their cholesterol and to quit smoking.
Visseren and his colleagues studied the cases of 330 patients who had been diagnosed with atherosclerosis and had at least two manageable heart risk factors.
Some were assigned to conventional follow-up care, while others used the same follow-up care plus a personalized website that allowed them to monitor their condition and to communicate with a nurse practicioner about medicine and self-care.
The researchers said the results indicated that the Internet communication was an easy tool to help improve a patient’s treatment of risk factors.