18 February 2022

Research paper finds that lack of lifestyle interventions to support newly diagnosed health conditions suggests missed opportunity to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease in primary care.

Despite being a major health problem, with known risk factors including lifestyle-related behaviours, the research data shows that in primary care substantial proportions of individuals go without any recorded lifestyle intervention. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines recommend use of lifestyle interventions for individuals with an initial diagnosis of hypertension, hyperlipidaemia or obesity. Given that these conditions are often linked to modifiable lifestyle factors, it is a missed opportunity to fail to support these individuals to manage their conditions

The analysis of 770,000 patients between 2010 and 2019 showed that lifestyle interventions were recorded for 55.6% of people newly diagnosed with high blood pressure, 52.6% of people newly diagnosed with obesity and 45.2% of people newly diagnosed with high cholesterol.

The analysis also showed a substantial proportion of individuals not having any recorded lifestyle support or medication within 12 months of diagnosis, ranging from 12% of people with an initial diagnosis of high blood pressure to 44% of people with an initial diagnosis of obesity.

Report co-author, Dr Anant Jani says

“Lifestyle support is crucial as part of a patient-centred, comprehensive approach to managing the risk of disease and improving peoples experience and health outcomes when they become sick. We are missing so many opportunities to manage down the risk of conditions like cardiovascular disease and hypertension and provide better support for the newly diagnosed.”

Full research paper appears in Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine



Julia M Lemp, Meghana Prasad Nuthanapati , Till W Bärnighausen,  Sebastian Vollmer , Pascal Geldsetzer and Anant Jani Heidelberg Institute of Global Health, Heidelberg University and University Hospital, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany 2 Department of Economics and Centre for Modern Indian Studies, University of Goettingen, 37073 Göttingen, Germany 3 Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University, Boston, MA 02115, USA 4 Africa Health Research Institute, Somkhele, Mtubatuba, 3935, South Africa 5 Division of Primary Care and Population Health, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA 6 Oxford Martin School, Oxford University, Oxford OX1 3BD, UK Corresponding author: Anant Jani. Email: anant.r.jani@gmail.com