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Open Access Study protocol

Implementation of case management to reduce cardiovascular disease risk in the Stanford and San Mateo Heart to Heart randomized controlled trial: study protocol and baseline characteristics

Jun Ma*, Ky-Van Lee, Kathy Berra and Randall S Stafford

Author Affiliations

Program on Prevention Outcomes and Practices, Stanford Prevention Research Center, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA

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Implementation Science 2006, 1:21  doi:10.1186/1748-5908-1-21

Published: 27 September 2006

Abstract

Background

Case management has emerged as a promising alternative approach to supplement traditional one-on-one sessions between patients and doctors for improving the quality of care in chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease (CHD). However, data are lacking in terms of its efficacy and cost-effectiveness when implemented in ethnic and low-income populations.

Methods

The Stanford and San Mateo Heart to Heart (HTH) project is a randomized controlled clinical trial designed to rigorously evaluate the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of a multi-risk cardiovascular case management program in low-income, primarily ethnic minority patients served by a local county health care system in California. Randomization occurred at the patient level. The primary outcome measure is the absolute CHD risk over 10 years. Secondary outcome measures include adherence to guidelines on CHD prevention practice. We documented the study design, methodology, and baseline sociodemographic, clinical and lifestyle characteristics of 419 participants.

Results

We achieved equal distributions of the sociodemographic, biophysical and lifestyle characteristics between the two randomization groups. HTH participants had a mean age of 56 years, 63% were Latinos/Hispanics, 65% female, 61% less educated, and 62% were not employed. Twenty percent of participants reported having a prior cardiovascular event. 10-year CHD risk averaged 18% in men and 13% in women despite a modest low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level and a high on-treatment percentage at baseline. Sixty-three percent of participants were diagnosed with diabetes and an additional 22% had metabolic syndrome. In addition, many participants had depressed high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels and elevated values of total cholesterol-to-HDL ratio, triglycerides, triglyceride-to-HDL ratio, and blood pressure. Furthermore, nearly 70% of participants were obese, 45% had a family history of CHD or stroke, and 16% were current smokers.

Conclusion

We have recruited an ethnically diverse, low-income cohort in which to implement a case management approach and test its efficacy and cost-effectiveness. HTH will advance the scientific understanding of better strategies for CHD prevention among these priority subpopulations and aid in guiding future practice that will reduce health disparities.