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Study shows cholesterol-lowering power of dietitian visits
Date:3/4/2008

t carried out in Michigan by the Michigan Dietetic Association and led by U-M cardiovascular dietitians.

Everyone knows that nutrition is important for cholesterol management, and that a registered dietitian is the professional most thoroughly trained to help patients choose foods wisely, says lead author Kathy Rhodes, Ph.D., R.D., manager of Nutrition Services with the U-M Cardiovascular Medicine program at Dominos Farms and the U-M Cardiovascular Center. But this is the first national study to show what happens when high-risk patients work with R.D.s to follow nutrition guidelines grounded in the best evidence.

Key nutrition issues in the 1998 guidelines used in the study include reducing saturated and trans fat and increasing healthy fats such as olive oil; increasing soluble and insoluble fiber; eating fish twice a week; increasing fruits and vegetables; regular exercise and healthy weight management. Information about food-label reading and dining out was also included.

Called the Lipid Management Nutrition Outcomes Project or LMNOP, the national study was launched by Rhodes and her U-M colleagues Melvyn Rubenfire, M.D., and Martha Weintraub, MPH, R.D., after the successful completion of the Michigan-wide pilot project. Rubenfire, Weintraub and Christina Biesemeier, M.S., R.D., FADA, of Vanderbilt University are co-authors of the new study.

The study gives us an important real world picture of what happens when R.D.s try to implement evidence-based nutrition guidelines in daily practice, Rhodes notes.

Some commercial health insurance plans are beginning to cover appointments with registered dietitians, but many still do not. Only dietitian visits for diabetes or kidney disease are covered by Medicare. It is important for people to check their specific health insurance plan to see whether nutrition is covered, Rhodes says. But even if individuals need to pay for the appointments out of their own pocket, they may fi
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Contact: Kara Gavin
kegavin@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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