Journal Article
Observational Study
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Comparison of virtual vs face-to-face medical nutrition therapy in patients with hyperlipidemia.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, utilization of telemedicine visits has increased. The outcomes of virtual compared to face-to-face (F2F) visits for treating hyperlipidemia are uncharacterized. This observational study compared pre- to post-visit change in lipid markers between 41 virtual and 151 F2F visits with a registered dietitian nutritionist at the University of Michigan Preventive Cardiology program from 3/31/2019-9/31/2022. Total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), and triglycerides (TG) were collected pre- and post-visit with a median 33 days between collections. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL-C) was calculated using the Sampson equation. We used paired T-tests to evaluate mean change in lipid markers for each visit type between pre and post timepoints, and linear regression to compare virtual to F2F visits. There was a significant decrease in TC, LDL-C, and non-HDL-C for both visit types. There was no significant difference in mean change in lipid markers between virtual and F2F visits. Telehealth is a promising strategy for increasing access to medical nutrition therapy.

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