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Partners in Lowering Cholesterol: Comparison of a Multidisciplinary Educational Program, Monetary Incentives, or Usual Care in the Treatment of Dyslipidemia Identified Among Employees

Bloch, Michael J. MD; Armstrong, David S. PhD; Dettling, Lisa BA; Hardy, Aaron MS; Caterino, Karen MBA; Barrie, Sandie PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: July 2006 - Volume 48 - Issue 7 - p 675-681
doi: 10.1097/01.jom.0000205997.18143.6c
Original Articles

Objective: We sought to assess whether either a low-cost educational intervention or small monetary incentive is more effective than usual care in lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol among employees.

Methods: Employees with an LDL-C >130 mg/dL were eligible. After receiving on-line educational materials, subjects were assigned to three groups: group 1 received $100 if they reduced their LDL-C by 15% within 6 months, group 2 participated in a multi-disciplinary educational program, and group 3 received no further intervention.

Results: In total, 171 employees participated. Baseline mean LDL-C was 156 mg/dL. Approximately 6 months after randomization, mean LDL-C was reduced 17.9 mg/dL (11.3%) in group 1, 17.9 mg/dL (11.5%) in group 2, and 5.5 mg/dL (3.5%) in group 3. Reductions in groups 1 and 2 were statistically superior to group 3 (P = 0.02).

Conclusions: Both an employer directed low-cost educational program and small monetary incentives similarly lowered LDL-C compared with usual care.

From the Department of Medicine, University of Nevada School of Medicine & Risk Reduction Center, Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center, Reno (Dr Bloch); Boehringer-Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Ingelheim, Germany (Dr Armstrong); Health and Wellness, Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center, Reno, Nevada (Ms Dettling); Integrated Health and Wellness, Washoe County School District, Reno, Nevada (Mr Hardy); City of Sparks, Nevada (Ms Caterino); and Nevada Health Care Coalition, Reno, Nevada (Dr Barrie).

Dr David Spiller Armstrong is associate director, Health Management Resources at Boehringer-Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals. He has no involvement in pharmaceutical products related to this research.

Address correspondence to: Michael J. Bloch, MD, Risk Reduction Center, Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center, 343 Elm Street, Suite 308, Reno, NV 89511; E-mail:

©2006The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine