Shock value: Show patients an image of their clogged arteries
Showing patients a picture of how much plaque is clogging their arteries may help them to make the lifestyle changes needed to lower their risk of cardiovascular disease, a study suggests.
People given a personalised image of an ultrasound revealing the extent of their atherosclerosis decreased their cardiovascular disease risk in a year.
Meanwhile, those not given the pictorial evidence increased their risk, according to the study in the Lancet.
The group with graphic evidence of their level of atherosclerosis not only saw a decrease in their Framingham risk score, but also showed improvements in total and LDL cholesterol.
But the Framingham risk score increased among participants who weren't given a personalised ultrasound image.
“Information alone rarely leads to behaviour change, and the recall of advice regarding exercise and diet is poorer than advice about medicines,” said