New e-Health solution developed to prevent cardiovascular disease, dementia in senior citizens

An innovative e-Health solution, based on an interactive Internet platform, has been developed to support senior citizens in improving their lifestyle to prevent cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline and dementia. Researchers from the HATICE trial presented the solution in a pre-press article published in Journal of Alzheimer's Disease 62(2).

The HATICE trial is currently ongoing in Finland, France, and the Netherlands, involving more than 2,500 people aged 65 years or older, at high risk of cardiovascular disease. Half of the participants have access to an Internet platform where they can follow their cardiovascular risk factors, and find information on how to reduce them by improving their lifestyle. Through the platform, they can also interact with a specialized nurse for extra guidance and support. The other half of the participants use a simplified platform, with only basic information and no interactive features.

The main goal of the HATICE trial is to understand whether participants can benefit from the use of the platform and the interaction with the nurse by reducing their risk of developing cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, and dementia. To this aim, HATICE focuses on increasing the awareness of participants on what constitutes a healthy lifestyle, while taking into account the specific needs of senior citizens.

In this study, the researchers compared and integrated the guidelines for the prevention of cardiovascular disease available in the three participating countries. The results were used to develop a lifestyle counseling program within the HATICE platform. The guidelines were generally uniform, especially in relation to what defines a healthy lifestyle. This allowed the development of a platform consistently applicable in the three local settings. However, advice specifically addressed to senior citizens was limited.

"The possibility of devising common preventive programs throughout Europe and delivering them through the Internet means that we may be able to reach a larger portion of the population in a simpler and cost-effective way. This would improve our chances of better preventing cardiovascular disease and dementia", says Dr Mariagnese Barbera from the University of Eastern Finland, the lead author of the study.

Professor Miia Kivipelto, senior investigator of the HATICE trial, adds:

"This study addresses the need to improve our knowledge of how to best support healthy aging and prevention of cardiovascular disease and dementia in the senior population. The results of the HATICE trial will provide important information on how to better control cardiovascular risk factors in this age group, and plan large-scale preventive programs."

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