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Nurse booster for heart patients

Wednesday September 1st, 2010

A simple programme of regular visits to nurses may successfully help heart patients avoid future problems, researchers have reported.

Patients recovering from hospital treatment for heart disease had four appointments with a specialist nurse over a six month period in the Dutch study.

This led to a 17 per cent cut in their risk of death, researchers reported to the European Society of Cardiology conference in Stockholm, Sweden.

After 12 months, researchers said, some 35 per cent of patients who were assigned to nurses had good control of the factors that aggravate heart risk, such as exercise, diet, smoking and weight.

The findings were reported by Professor Ron Peters, of the Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam.

He said: "It is widely believed, both by patients and doctors, that the preventive aspect of treatment is given insufficient priority and that new approaches are needed to realise the full benefits of prevention.

"A short coaching programme by a nurse, on top of usual care, is such a new approach already found promising in primary care."

He added: "The nurse programme was practical and well attended by the patients. More than 93 per cent of patients attended all visits to the nurse. These findings are very encouraging and support the initiation of prevention programmes by nurses to help patients reduce their risk of future complications."

Tags: Diet & Food | Europe | Fitness | Heart Health | Nursing & Midwifery

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