Women's Lifestyle Heart Trial

An Effective Practice


The Women's Lifestyle Heart Trial is a comprehensive lifestyle self-management program to reduce cardiovascular risk factors. The program helps postmenopausal women with coronary heart disease make lasting lifestyle changes that may reduce the need for cardiac medications, decrease risk factors, and improve quality of life. Through the program, women participate in a week-long retreat followed by twice-weekly 4-hour meetings. The week-long retreat includes healthy cooking classes for a low-fat vegetarian diet taught by a dietitian, stress management classes taught by a certified Yoga instructor, group physical activity sessions led by a certified exercise physiologist, and group discussion sessions. Women receive group support from other participants, and are encouraged to bring a spouse or support partner to the retreat. Participants also receive a personalized training regimen and smoking cessation support.

Goal / Mission

The goal of the Women's Lifestyle Heart Trial is to reduce cardiovascular risk factors among postmenopausal women with coronary heart disease through lifestyle changes.

Results / Accomplishments

A randomized controlled trial compared women receiving the lifestyle intervention to women receiving usual care. In 4-, 12-, and 24-month follow-ups, women participating in the program had decreased caloric intake from fat and saturated fat, increased physical activity, and improved stress management. Women in the intervention had significantly greater improvements in body mass, angina symptoms, heart disease risk score, quality of life, general health, and social functioning. Participants had a greater reduction in blood pressure lowering medications, and had trends toward decreased lipids, blood pressure, and lipid-lowering medications.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Deborah Toobert
Chronic Illness Research Group
Oregon Research Institute
1715 Franklin Blvd
Eugene, OR 97403
(541) 484-2123
Health / Heart Disease & Stroke
Health / Women's Health
Health / Exercise, Nutrition, & Weight
Oregon Research Institute Chronic Illness Research Group
Annals of Behavioral Medicine
Date of publication
Eugene, OR
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