eHealth interventions for reducing cardiovascular disease risk in men: A systematic review and meta-analysis
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Men remain at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) than women and behavioral risk factor modification is an important preventive measure. However, engaging men in behavior change interventions is challenging. Although men often indicate a preference for gender-specific information and support, this rarely occurs. eHealth interventions have the potential to address this gap, though their effectiveness for reducing CVD risk in men is unclear. Therefore, the aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to evaluate the effectiveness of eHealth interventions for reducing CVD risk in men. A search of published randomised controlled trials with no date restrictions up to July 2020 was conducted to identify those targeting at least two major CVD risk factors. Nine trials were identified and reviewed. Study quality ranged from low to unclear, with one trial at a high risk of bias. Compared to those in a control group or receiving printed materials, participants randomised to an eHealth intervention had statistically significant improvements in BMI (Z=-2.75, p=0.01), body weight (Z=-3.25, p=0.01), waist circumference (Z=-2.30, p=0.02) and systolic (Z=-3.57, p=0.01) and diastolic (Z=-3.56, p=0.01) blood pressure. Though less evident, there were also improvements in physical activity and diet in favour of the intervention group. This review suggests that eHealth interventions can reduce CVD risk in adult men through behavior change. However, we were unable to determine the association between intervention characteristics and outcomes. Also, overall, participant adherence to the intervention was poor. Both of these issues should be considered in future studies.
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