Middle-aged people with a serum total cholesterol of more than 220 mg/dl at the latest health examination (n=197) at a chemical company were invited to join a health education program for 6 months. Participants meeting inclusion criteria were randomly assigned to an intervention (n=96) and a control group (n=92). Periodical interviews and blood tests were performed every 2 months for both groups. The intervention group was educated by health professionals in the factories through programs developed for hypercholesterolemia. After a 6-month intervention, the reduction of cholesterol levels and the differences between the groups were analysed.
The mean total cholesterol (TCH) levels at the baseline measurement were 239.7 mg/dl in the intervention group and 236.5 mg/dl in the control group. During the intervention period, decreased levels of TCH were 27.1 mg/dl for the intervention group and 18.5 mg/dl for the control group. Declines in body weight, TCH and triglyceride levels in the intervention group were significantly larger than those in the control group. The decline of apoprotein-B was also significantly larger in the intervention group while high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels essentially did not change.
The health education by health professionals proved to be useful in reducing the risk factor levels for coronary heart disease. These results suggest that health education would also be useful against other major risk factors in cardiovascular diseases.