Abstract Aims: Assess the evolution of cardiovascular lifestyle behaviors in hypercholesterolemic patients concomitantly with changes in their daily intake of phytosterol-supplemented yoghurt (Phyto-SY). Methods: Nationwide prospective observational study conducted in general practices across France and Spain. Each practitioner suggested lifestyle changes to five consecutive patients with hypercholesterolemia (whether or not they were taking hypocholesterolemic drugs) and recommended daily consumption of Phyto-SY. The study design involved an inclusion visit, a patient's self-monitoring assessment after 1 month, and a final visit after 4 months. Primary evaluation criterion: changes in dietary habits assessed by a standardized Nutritional Lifestyle score. Secondary criteria: changes in lipid profile, anthropometry (waist circumference) and lifestyle behavior. Results: A total of 2376 hypercholesterolemic patients (of whom 54.8% were women) were included. The average age was 56.2 years old. The Nutritional Lifestyle score improved from 15.4 ± 5.4 to 8.7 ± 4.0 (p < 0.0001). Total cholesterol decreased by 10.6% (<0.0001), HDL-C increased by 8.0% (<0.0001), and LDL-C fell by 12.7% (<0.0001). Similar results were observed in patients treated with statins and those who were not. Frequency of walking (>30 min) increased from 59.3% to 78.3% (p < 0.0001). The overweight rate decreased from 22.8% to 17.5% (p < 0.0001) and waist circumference from 94.6 ± 13.3 cm to 93.0 ± 12.8 cm (p < 0.0001). Nutritional Lifestyles and other lifestyle markers' improvement were parallel to adherence to Phyto-SY adherence. Conclusion: Improvements in Nutritional Lifestyle scores, which included regular consumption of Phyto-SY over 4 months, was significantly linked to healthier lifestyles and to beneficial modifications in atherogenic lipid profiles, which reflected patient empowerment in a 'real life' context.
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