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August 13, 1997

The Cardiology BeatAn Internet Education for Patients and Health Professionals

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston (Dr Peters; e-mail: rhp@solvig.med.harvard.edu); and the National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Md (Dr Sikorski; e-mail: rss@nchgr.nih.gov).

JAMA. 1997;278(6):451-452. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550060017008

An internist in a busy, small private practice has just discovered in routine screening tests that a new patient has a mildly elevated total cholesterol level. Given the borderline nature of the elevation, the physician recommends that the patient change his diet and reduce fat intake. In the office visit, the patient asks wgat types of food he should now eat. After providing some basic education about diet, the physician refers the patient to the American Heart Association Web site for more detail.

Education can greatly enhance the interaction between patients with cardiovascular diseases and their physicians. In the case above, the patient needed information about diet—what to eat, how to cook, and how often to eat actually was his treatment. One can easily imagine that the physician's recommendation might have been to stop smoking or