Background Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of morbidity, mortality, and cost in Western society. Employer-sponsored work health programs (WHPs) and Web-based portals for monitoring and providing guidance based on participants' health risk assessments are emerging, yet online technologies to improve CVD health in the workplace are relatively unproven. We hypothesized that an online WHP, comprehensively addressing multiple facets of CVD, can be successfully implemented and improve the health of participants. Methods A cohort of employees in Tennessee (n = 1,602) was subjected to a health risk assessment at baseline. Those who did not meet all 5 healthy benchmarks (n = 836) - body mass index, blood pressure, glucose, total cholesterol, and smoking status - were prospectively assigned to a Web-based personal health assistant and had repeat measurements taken at 90 days. Results Of those who both completed the personal health assistant program and underwent baseline plus 90-day assessments (508/836, 61%), 75% were female, mean age was 46.5 ± 11.1 years, and the mean number of risk factors at baseline was 1.1 ± 0.9 with a mean 10-year Framingham Risk Score of 2.9%. This cohort demonstrated a significant reduction in total cholesterol (P <.0001), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (P <.0001), triglycerides (P <.0001), systolic blood pressure (P =.009), glucose (P =.004), weight (P =.001), and body mass index (P =.001). Most of the participants improved at least 1 risk factor. Framingham Risk 10-year cardiovascular risk percentages were significantly reduced (P =.003). Conclusions This study in a prospective cohort of community-dwelling employees suggests that an online WHP can provide a viable means to improve surrogates of CVD risk factors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine