Lifestyle Interventions to Prevent Cardiovascular Events After Stroke and Transient Ischemic Attack
Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Background and Purpose—Patients with a transient ischemic attack or ischemic stroke have an increased risk of subsequent cardiovascular events. The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to determine whether lifestyle interventions focusing on behaviorally modifiable risk factors with or without an exercise program are effective in terms of (1) preventing recurrent cardiovascular events, (2) reducing mortality, and (3) improving modifiable risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease in patients after a transient ischemic attack or ischemic stroke.
Methods—For this systematic review and meta-analysis, we systematically searched PubMed, Embase, PsycInfo, and the Cochrane Library from the start of the database to May 7, 2015. Subgroup analyses were conducted to explore the influence of therapy-related factors.
Results—Twenty-two randomized controlled trials were identified with a total of 2574 patients. Pooling showed a significant reduction in systolic blood pressure by the lifestyle interventions applied, compared with usual care (mean difference, −3.6 mm Hg; 95% confidence interval, −5.6 to −1.6, I2=33%). No significant effect was found on cardiovascular events, mortality, diastolic blood pressure, or cholesterol. In the subgroup analyses, the trials with cardiovascular fitness interventions, trials with an intervention that lasted longer than 4 months, and interventions that used >3 behavior change techniques were more effective in reducing systolic blood pressure.
Conclusions—We found that lifestyle interventions are effective in lowering systolic blood pressure. About other end points, this systematic review found no effect of lifestyle interventions on cardiovascular event rate mortality, diastolic blood pressure, or total cholesterol.
- Received June 15, 2016.
- Revision received October 25, 2016.
- Accepted November 3, 2016.
- © 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.