Just four monthly text messages might spur health improvements for heart patients.

That's the message from Australian researchers who sent patients simple advice in texts that they say led to better blood pressure, cholesterol and physical activity levels.

Smaller studies have linked health-oriented text messages with improvement in a single measure, but the researchers say this is the largest to find multiple benefits.

The study lasted only six months but additional research is looking for longer-lasting benefits.

The research was published in Tuesday's Journal of the American Medical Association.

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