Healthy Diet reduced risk for having second Heart Attack or Stroke

Credit: National Cancer Institute Renee Comet (Photographer)

(Best Syndication News) - Eating a heart-healthy diet after having a heart attack or stroke can help prevent future events, according to a new study published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.

Study author, Mahshid Dehghan, Ph.D, a nutritionist at the Population Health Research Institute, McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, said that if patients rely on medicine to lower their blood pressure and cholesterol, they may not think eating a heart-healthy diet is very important. The study found that dietary changes offer additional benefits to patients taking aspirin, angiotensin modulators, cholesterol lower medications, and beta-blockers.

To investigate, the researchers examined dietary responses from 31,546 adults with an average age of 65.5 years. The respondents had cardiovascular disease or end organ damage. Participants were asked how often they drank milk, ate vegetables, fruits, grains, fish, meat, and poultry over the past year. Additionally, they were asked about habits such as alcohol consumption, smoking, and physical activity levels.

To score the responses, the researchers compared the number of fruits, vegetables, grains, and milk they consumed and the proportion of fish compared to other meat consumption.

They found that after five years 5,190 participants had cardiovascular events. However, those participants that ate a heart-healthy diet had a decreased risk for cardiovascular death (35 percent reduction), new heart attacks (reduced by 14 percent), congestive heart failure (reduced by 28 percent), and stroke (reduced by 19 percent).

The researchers suggest that eating more fruits and vegetables and a higher ratio of fish to other meats was helpful in preventing heart disease than it was for preventing cancer, bone fractures, or other injuries.

By: Marsha Quinn
Health Reporter
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Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association's policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

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