Abstract 1536: An Internet Physical Activity Intervention to Reduce Coronary Heart Disease Risk in the Metabolic Syndrome Population
The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) emphasizes regular physical activity (PA) to reduce coronary heart disease (CHD) risk associated with the metabolic syndrome. Despite the clear health benefits, most adults with the metabolic syndrome do not engage in PA at the recommended level. The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate the effects of a Physical Activity Internet Intervention on:
adherence with the NCEP PA guidelines, and
lipid and hsCRP biomarkers in the metabolic syndrome population.
The theoretical basis of the intervention was Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory. A repeated measures experimental design was used to examine adherence, cardiorespiratory fitness, and biomarkers pre and post intervention (6 week duration). Subjects were randomly assigned to the usual care group (n=9) or the Internet intervention group (n=12). Analyses involved 15 males and 6 females recruited from a cardiology clinic, age range 32– 66, mean 50.9 ± 7.8 years. Change scores (post minus pre intervention scores) were computed, and differences between groups were examined using Mann Whitney U statistics. Adherence with NCEP PA guidelines (goal 150 min/wk of ≥ moderate intensity PA) increased in the Internet intervention group from 70.3% at baseline to 90.9% at 6 weeks, compared with a decrease from 69.5% to 68.1% respectively in the usual care group (intervention group improved significantly more than usual care group, z=2.25, p=0.02). Cardiorespiratory fitness (VO2max) increased from 26.8 to 27.6 mls O2/kg/min in the intervention group, and decreased from 32 to 31.7 mls O2/kg/min in the usual care group (z=1.25, p=0.21). Biomarkers also changed in the expected direction, including a decrease in non-HDL cholesterol from 161.9 to 158.4 mg/dl in the intervention group, and increase from 169.7 to 177.6 mg/dl in the usual care group (z=1.46, p=0.14). HDL cholesterol increased from 30.7 to 33.3 mg/dl in the intervention group, and from 37.9 to 38 mg/dl in the usual care group (z=1.51, p=0.13). Minimal differences between groups were found in triglycerides and hsCRP. This evidence-based Internet intervention demonstrates promise in improving adherence with NCEP PA guidelines, and thus reducing CHD risk in the metabolic syndrome population.