Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Heart Disease Diagnosis Rarely Prompts Diet Change

“A one-year follow-up study of patients with heart disease found that few are meeting recommendations for fruit, vegetable and fiber intake, and they were eating a ‘disturbing’ amount of trans fat, Dr. Yunsheng Ma and colleagues from the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester found. They surveyed 555 people about their eating habits one year after they had been diagnosed with heart disease using coronary angiography. All had suffered some type of cardiac event, such as heart attack, abnormal heart rhythm, or chest pain. And while public health guidelines recommend getting less than 0.5 percent of total calories from trans fat, people in the study consumed an average of 3.41 percent of their calories in trans fat form. Just half had exercised for at least 20 minutes at least once in the past three months. About 80 percent of people don't go to cardiac rehabilitation programs after having a heart attack, the researcher noted, and even if they do such programs often emphasize exercise over nutrition.”

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