Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2001;27(1):57-62    pdf


Life-style intervention at the worksite - reduction of cardiovascular risk factors in a randomized study

by Nilsson PM, Klasson E-B, Nyberg P

Objectives This study tested a feasible method for screening for cardiovascular risk at the worksite and investigated the effects of a long-term comprehensive program of life-style intervention to prevent cardiovascular disease.

Methods Employees in the public sector filled out a self-administered questionnaire with questions on social, medical, and work-related factors. The respondents numbered 454 (80%). A score sum for cardiovascular risk was calculated (range 1-20, median 7.0), and the 128 subjects with a sum above 8 were invited to a health examination including blood sampling. Thereafter the subjects were invited to participate, following randomization, in a comprehensive, 18-month, life-style intervention program to improve cardiovascular risk or in a control group.

Results The intervention group significantly decreased body mass index, diastolic blood pressure, heart rate, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and smoking habits during the intervention. The initially elevated serum cortisol, as a marker of stress reaction, normalized in the intervention group. In the control group LDL cholesterol also decreased, but the glucose and triglyceride levels increased, and smoking habits were unchanged. Sick days for a given period decreased after 1 year in the intervention group but not in the control group.

Conclusions Several cardiovascular risk factors can be improved and morning serum cortisol normalized during a long-term life-style intervention program with a randomized design using a worksite population of middle-aged subjects. The use of a 2-step screening program, with an initial questionnaire followed by a health check of subjects with elevated risk, is feasible for worksite settings.

The following article refers to this text: 2010;36(3):202-215