Seeing clogged arteries may spur healthy lifestyle changes

The text Heart Disease appearing behind torn brown paper.

To encourage heart-healthy habits, a picture may be worth a thousand words, suggests a study published online Dec. 3, 2018, by The Lancet.

The study included more than 3,100 people ages 40 to 60 with at least one risk factor for heart disease. All participants received standard care to prevent heart disease, including medications (if needed) and advice about lifestyle factors. But half were given a drawing depicting the amount of plaque in their neck arteries, along with a gauge ranging from green to red to illustrate their biological age (based on their blood vessel health) compared with their actual age. Nurses called them with follow-up information, and their doctors also got the images.

After one year, heart disease risk scores had dropped among those who saw the pictures, while scores increased among the other participants. People in the picture group also lowered their total and LDL cholesterol more than those in the other group, and people with the worst initial levels had the greatest improvements. The researchers plan to include cost-effectiveness information in the three-year results of this ongoing study.

Bible verses for today’s meditation and inspiration: Matthew E. McLaren

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love. Ephesians 3:16-17 NIV

 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24 NIV

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1  NIV

For we live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7 NIV

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit? Romans 15:13 NIV

But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. James 1:6 NIV

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6  NIV

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