Exploring New Models for Cardiovascular Risk Reduction: The Heart Outcomes Prevention and Evaluation 4 (HOPE 4) Canada Pilot Study
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Background: There is a gap between evidence and practice in the management of cardiovascular (CV) risk. Previous research indicated benefits from community-based, multi-faceted interventions to screen, diagnose, and manage CV risk in people with hypertension. Methods: The Heart Outcomes Prevention and Evaluation 4 Canada pilot study (HOPE 4) was a quasi-experimental pre-post interventional study, involving one community each in Hamilton, Ontario and Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. Individuals aged ≥50 years with newly diagnosed or poorly controlled hypertension were included. The intervention was comprised of: (i) simplified diagnostic/treatment algorithms implemented by community health workers (firefighters in British Columbia and community health workers in Ontario) guided by decision support and counselling software; (ii) recommendations for evidence-based CV medications and lifestyle modifications; and (iii) support from family/friends to promote healthy behaviours. The intervention was developed as part of the international Heart Outcomes Prevention and Evaluation 4 Canada pilot study trial and adapted to the Canadian context. The primary outcome was the change in Framingham Risk Score 10-year CV disease risk estimate between baseline and 6 months. Results: Between 2016 and 2017, a total of 193 participants were screened, with 37 enrolled in Surrey, and 19 in Hamilton. Mean age was 69 years (standard deviation 11), with 54% female, 27% diabetic, and 73% with a history of hypertension. An 82% follow-up level had been obtained at 6 months. Compared to baseline, there were significant improvements in the Framingham Risk Score 10-year risk estimate (30.6% vs 24.7%, P < 0.01), and systolic blood pressure (153.1 vs 136.7 mm Hg, P < 0.01). No significant changes in lipids or healthy behaviours were noted. Conclusions: A comprehensive approach to health care delivery, using a community-based intervention with community health workers, supported by mobile-health technologies, has the potential to significantly reduce cardiovascular risk, but further evaluation is warranted.