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Study backs 'e-nudge' in primary CVD prevention

By Lilian Anekwe

Using automated electronic reminders to identify patients at risk of cardiovascular disease is feasible in everyday practice, a UK general practice study shows.

Primary care researchers tested the effects of a system of electronic reminders, the ‘e-nudge' system, which identifies patients aged over 50 on the basis of estimated cardiovascular risk, highlights those at raised risk and prompts GPs to complete full risk profiles where necessary.

The system was used in a randomised controlled trial of 38,000 patient records drawn from 19 general practice in the West Midlands. Where e-nudge was used to screen the records an extra 359 patients aged 40-74 years were found without known cardiovascular disease or diabetes, who had an estimated risk level of 20% or more over 10 years.

Study leader Dr Tim Holt, clinical lecturer at the University of Warwick and a GP in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, concluded: ‘Identification of at-risk patients is the first step in primary CVD prevention and this study has demonstrated that automated reminders can facilitate this process in the routine environment of general practice.'

British Journal of General Practice 2010;60:251-256.

Researchers found the 'e-nudge' was an effective tool in CVD primary prevention Researchers found the 'e-nudge' was an effective tool in CVD primary prevention

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