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This study aimed to determine whether participants reported altering health behaviors (physical activity, diet, and alcohol consumption) after seeing results from an electron-beam computed tomography (EBCT) scan for coronary artery calcium and reviewing these results with a physician. Clinicians attempt to motivate patients to control cardiovascular risk factors by adopting healthy behaviors and reducing harmful actions. Asymptomatic patients (N = 510) were evaluated by EBCT for the extent of coronary artery calcium. Information pertaining to demographics, health history, and lifestyle/health behaviors was obtained from each participant at the time of the EBCT scan. Patients were given their numerical calcium score, shown images of their coronary arteries, and counseled by a physician for lifestyle and medical risk modification based on their coronary artery calcium score. Approximately 6 years after the scan, participants completed a follow-up questionnaire related to lifestyle modifications. In multivariable analysis, the presence and extent of coronary artery calcium was significantly associated with beneficial health behavior modifications. Specifically, the greater a patient’s coronary artery calcium score, the more likely they were to report increasing exercise (odds ratio = 1.34, P = 0.02), changing diet (odds ratio = 1.40, P < 0.01), and changing alcohol intake (odds ratio = 1.46, P = 0.05). This study suggests that seeing and being counseled on the presence and extent of coronary artery calcium is significantly associated with behavior change.
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- Health behavior modification after electron beam computed tomography and physician consultation
C. Michael Wright
- Springer US