Next up in the news for nurses this week is a look at the relative effectiveness of drugs to treat and manage patients when compared to what may be more cost effective treatments like exercise programs and other lifestyle changes. Researchers in the UK looked at Statin drugs taken by nearly 7 million British citizens and paid for by the National Health Service.

Lifestyle Change Therapies Save 5 Times As Many Lives

Senior citizen takes medication with water.The study authors found that based on their study, Statin drugs account for about 750 lives saved. That number seems great, right? But when you compare it to programs that provide lifestyle changing therapies like exercise programs and nutritional education it’s not that great. These therapies account for more than 4500 deaths prevented each year and probably lead to a population that is overall healthier.

According to the authors at the University of Liverpool more time and energy should be spent by public health officials on programs that improve the lifestyles and overall health of the entire population. They point to the current practices of physicians to prescribe expensive medications rather then encourage lifestyle changes in their patients as a reason for rising healthcare costs.

Modifiable Risk Factor Change Key to Prevention

The new research points to adopting changes to modifiable risk factors can prevent far more deaths than any pharmaceutical therapy and their research of coronary heart disease deaths in the UK from 2000 to 2007 prove it.

The lead on these type of lifestyle changing programs will most likely be taken by nurses in a way similar to the way nurses lead diabetes education and similar programs. Setting yourself up to provide those services could be a great way to move in to a position as a nurse entrepreneur.

Keep an eye on research like this that will change the way healthcare is provided in the coming years as we continue to rely more on evidence based healthcare like this.

Make sure you follow-up on the links for this news item and all of the other news and additional resource links from this week’s episode – Opiate Addiction Treatment Options Explored and Episode 331.

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