Impact of receiving blood cholesterol test results on dietary change Conferences uri icon

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  • INTRODUCTION: The study objective was to determine the impact of receiving results of a blood cholesterol test on changes in dietary behaviors among individuals participating in a Health Risk Appraisal Program. METHODS: This randomized trial of maintenance employees at six hospitals included two groups: Group 1 received their blood cholesterol test results at the pretest; Group 2 received results only at the posttest (16-20 weeks later). The pretest interview included (1) a 24-hour dietary recall; (2) an evaluation of dietary behaviors and suggestions on how to change; (3) height, weight, and blood cholesterol measurement. Five hundred employees participated, and 429 eligible employees completed both pretest and posttest interviews. RESULTS: Blood cholesterol levels decreased by 4.8% (P < .001) and saturated fat intake decreased by 7.4% (P < .05). Regression analyses indicated that individuals more likely to have lowered saturated fat intake had higher pretest saturated fat intakes, had a family history of high blood cholesterol, and were light-maintenance employees (P < .05); no other variables were associated (receiving blood cholesterol test results, previous blood cholesterol test, pretest blood cholesterol levels, personal history of heart disease, BMI, age, gender, tobacco/alcohol use). Among subjects with normal cholesterol levels, those not receiving blood test results reduced saturated fat intake more than those receiving test results; both groups had similar saturated fat intakes (> 12%) greater than recommended intake (< 10%). CONCLUSIONS: Screening programs should include an assessment of saturated fat intake as screening for blood cholesterol may provide normocholesterolemic subjects with a false sense of security.


  • Strychar, Irene M
  • Champagne, François
  • Ghadirian, Parviz
  • Bonin, André
  • Jenicek, Milos
  • Lasater, Thomas M

publication date

  • February 1998