Cardiovascular disease risk communication and prevention: a meta-analysis

Mina Bakhit*, Samantha Fien, Eman Abukmail, Mark Jones, Justin Clark, Anna Mae Scott, Paul Glasziou, Magnolia Cardona

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
66 Downloads (Pure)


Background and Aims
Knowledge of quantifiable cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk may improve health outcomes and trigger behavioural change in patients or clinicians. This review aimed to investigate the impact of CVD risk communication on patient-perceived CVD risk and changes in CVD risk factors.

PubMed, Embase, and PsycINFO databases were searched from inception to 6 June 2023, supplemented by citation analysis. Randomized trials that compared any CVD risk communication strategy versus usual care were included. Paired reviewers independently screened the identified records and extracted the data; disagreements were resolved by a third author. The primary outcome was the accuracy of risk perception. Secondary outcomes were clinician-reported changes in CVD risk, psychological responses, intention to modify lifestyle, and self-reported changes in risk factors and clinician prescribing of preventive medicines.

Sixty-two trials were included. Accuracy of risk perception was higher among intervention participants (odds ratio = 2.31, 95% confidence interval = 1.63 to 3.27). A statistically significant improvement in overall CVD risk scores was found at 6–12 months (mean difference = −0.27, 95% confidence interval = −0.45 to −0.09). For primary prevention, risk communication significantly increased self-reported dietary modification (odds ratio = 1.50, 95% confidence interval = 1.21 to 1.86) with no increase in intention or actual changes in smoking cessation or physical activity. A significant impact on patients’ intention to start preventive medication was found for primary and secondary prevention, with changes at follow-up for the primary prevention group.

In this systematic review and meta-analysis, communicating CVD risk information, regardless of the method, reduced the overall risk factors and enhanced patients’ self-perceived risk. Communication of CVD risk to patients should be considered in routine consultations.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberehae002
Pages (from-to)998-1013
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Heart Journal
Issue number12
Early online date19 Jan 2024
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2024


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