Introduction Lifestyle change programs implemented within healthcare systems could reach many Americans, but their impact on cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains unclear. The MOVE! program is the largest lifestyle change program implemented in a healthcare setting in the U.S. This study aimed to determine whether MOVE! participation was associated with reduced CVD incidence. Methods This retrospective cohort study, analyzed in 2013–2015, used national Veterans Health Administration databases to identify MOVE! participants and eligible non-participants for comparison (2005–2012). Patients eligible for MOVE!—obese or overweight with a weight-related health condition, and no baseline CVD—were examined (N=1,463,003). Of these, 169,248 (12%) were MOVE! participants. Patients were 92% male, 76% white, with mean age 52 years and BMI of 32. The main outcome was incidence of CVD (ICD-9 and procedure codes for coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, peripheral vascular disease, and heart failure). Results Adjusting for age, race, sex, BMI, statin use, and baseline comorbidities, over a mean 4.9 years of follow-up, MOVE! participation was associated with lower incidence of total CVD (hazard ratio [HR]=0.83, 95% CI=0.80, 0.86); coronary artery disease (HR=0.81, 95% CI=0.77, 0.86); cerebrovascular disease (HR=0.87, 95% CI=0.82, 0.92); peripheral vascular disease (HR=0.89, 95% CI=0.83, 0.94); and heart failure (HR=0.78, 95% CI=0.74, 0.83). The association between MOVE! participation and CVD incidence remained significant when examined across categories of race/ethnicity, BMI, diabetes, hypertension, smoking status, and statin use. Conclusions Although participation was limited, MOVE! was associated with reduced CVD incidence in a nationwide healthcare setting.
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