Open Access Research article

No significant improvement of cardiovascular disease risk indicators by a lifestyle intervention in people with Familial Hypercholesterolemia compared to usual care: results of a randomised controlled trial

Karen Broekhuizen1, Mireille NM van Poppel1*, Lando L Koppes2, Iris Kindt3, Johannes Brug4 and Willem van Mechelen1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Public and Occupational Health, EMGO+Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, room G0.30, P.O. Box 7057 , 1007MB, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2 TNO Quality of Life, Division Work and Employment, Hoofddorp, The Netherlands

3 Foundation for the Identification of Persons with Inherited Hypercholesterolemia (StOEH), Amsterdam, The Netherlands

4 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, EMGO+Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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BMC Research Notes 2012, 5:181  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-181

Published: 10 April 2012



People with Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) may benefit from lifestyle changes supporting their primary treatment of dyslipidaemia. This project evaluated the efficacy of an individualised tailored lifestyle intervention on lipids (low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), total cholesterol (TC) and triglycerides), systolic blood pressure, glucose, body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference in people with FH.


Adults with FH (n = 340), recruited from a Dutch cascade screening program, were randomly assigned to either a control group or an intervention group. The personalised intervention consisted of web-based tailored lifestyle advice and personal counselling. The control group received care as usual. Lipids, systolic blood pressure, glucose, BMI, and waist circumference were measured at baseline and after 12 months. Regression analyses were conducted to examine differences between both groups.


After 12 months, no significant between-group differences of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk indicators were observed. LDL-C levels had decreased in both the intervention and control group. This difference between intervention and control group was not statistically significant.


This project suggests that an individually tailored lifestyle intervention did not have an additional effect in improving CVD risk indicators among people with FH. The cumulative effect of many small improvements in all indicators on long term CVD risk remains to be assessed in future studies.

Trial registration

NTR1899 at