Cardiometabolic disease (a group of common but often preventable conditions including heart attack, stroke, diabetes, insulin resistance and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease) is one of Australia’s largest health problems and cause of death in Australia and worldwide.
A continuous unhealthy lifestyle behaviour, including physical inactivity, sleep deprivation, mental stress, and unhealthy, high calorie diets rich in animal and ultra-processed foods, play a large role in the introduction and development of many cardiometabolic conditions.
A generous gift from the Australian Youth and Health Foundation, has enabled us to commence a critical health research program at the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre (CPC), to investigate the impact of holistic approaches (exemplified by the Hopewood philosophy) on health.
The LIVEPLUS (LIfestyle VulnErable PLaqUe Study) trial at the CPC will measure the impact of an intense lifestyle program. It will consist of a randomised 4-year trial that will investigate the impact of a lifestyle program on the cardiovascular health of adults with Coronary Heart Disease (CHD).
Over the period of a one-year program, trial participants will be educated, instructed and monitored through the LIVEPLUS phone-app. They will have regular face-to-face or video- call contact with study dietitians, an exercise physiologist and a mindfulness coach who will monitor their progress and successes through the app.
The LIVEPLUS app will extract the number of steps, intensity of exercise, sleep duration and quality, and sedentary time data from the Fitbit device worn by participants. Participants will also be able to record their weight, and to set and keep track of their health targets and goals. The app is not a treatment in itself but designed to monitor and encourage participants to follow the intervention.
This research study sets out to assess the effects of a conventional healthy lifestyle program compared to a 12-month intensive lifestyle program. The trial will include 150 people.
With improved knowledge we will be able to start to conquer some of the fundamental lifestyle factors that lead to coronary heart disease, a condition that afflicts the health of so many. This research will have wide-reaching impact and will help define how we must approach lifestyle changes to ensure better health as we age.