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October 2022

Z Kardiol. 1995 Mar; 84(3): 216-21.

[Life style changes in patients with myocardial infarct in the framework of intramural and ambulatory rehabilitation--results of a German pilot study]

Scherwitz LW, Brusis OA, Kesten D, Safian PA, Hasper E, Berg A, Siegrist J.

Preventive Medicine Research Institute, Sausalito, California 94965, USA.

To assess whether German patients would make comprehensive lifestyle changes as designed and successfully tested in the San Francisco Lifestyle Heart Trial, we recruited 25 patients who received usual care, and 15 patients who made lifestyle changes during a 6-week in-hospital rehabilitation program followed by a 3-month ambulatory period. The intervention program consisted of a low-fat vegetarian diet, stress management techniques, aerobic exercises, and group support meetings. The program was well accepted, and high compliance resulted in significant changes in the patients' diet, stress management, and exercise activity. For instance, fat intake dropped from 36% to 9% of total calories. As patients in both groups received 20 mg/day of Pravastatin, a lipid-lowering drug, lipid levels dropped significantly in both groups (30% in the intervention group and 27% in the control group). Thus, the combined effect of behavioral and drug treatment did not result in a substantial additional lipid-lowering effect. Within the intervention group significant improvement in quality of life occurred. In conclusion, the lifestyle heart program can be successfully implemented in a German rehabilitation setting which combines in-hospital and out-patient activities. However, participation in the current program is limited to highly motivated, well educated coronary patients.

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