Asharq Al-awsat English https://aawsat.com/english Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper http://feedly.com/icon.svg

Photos of Arteries May Encourage Better Health Lifestyle

Photos of Arteries May Encourage Better Health Lifestyle

Saturday, 8 December, 2018 - 07:45
A study suggests that people who see vivid pictures of their own arteries getting clogged up may be more likely to adopt a healthy lifestyle. (AFP)
Stockholm - Asharq Al-Awsat
A new study suggests that people who see vivid pictures of their own arteries getting clogged up with debris may be more likely to adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle than individuals who don’t see these images.

One of the biggest stumbling blocks to preventing cardiovascular disease can be patients’ inability to follow recommendations to do things like stop smoking, drink in moderation, exercise more regularly and eat well.

According to Reuters, for the current study, researchers randomly assigned 3,532 people with at least one risk factor for heart disease, but no symptoms to get only usual care, such as lifestyle advice or medications, or to also receive pictures of their arteries and personalized tutorials on why the images might signal health problems ahead.

One year later, people who saw the images of their own blood vessels had fewer risk factors for heart disease than the control group of patients who didn’t see images of their own bodies, researchers report in The Lancet journal.

Lead author of the study Ulf Naslund of Umea University in Sweden said: "Smoking cessation, anti-hypertensive and cholesterol-lowering medication, healthy diet and physical activity are the most effective and cheapest therapies in medicine, as long as individuals adhere to them long-term."

"The major problem is not lack of therapies, but it is rather non-adherence to these medications and lifestyle changes. The results in the study demonstrate one way to deal with the big problem in prevention - non-adherence." Naslund said by email.

Study participants ranged in age from 40 to 60. They all received information about their cardiovascular risk factors and advice on how to adopt a healthier lifestyle and take any needed medications.

Editor Picks

Multimedia