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UMass Medical School study finds patients diagnosed with coronary heart disease continue poor diets
Date:1/30/2008

o his or her sociodemographic and clinical standings and found that low dietary quality was associated with smoking, lower educational levels, obesity, high-fat intake and a lower calorie intake. On average, smokers scored six units lower than non-smokers; participants with education beyond high school scored three units higher than participants with a high school education; and obese participants scored four units lower than normal weight or overweight participants.

An overwhelming number of CHD patients, roughly 80 percent, do not attend cardiac rehabilitation programs, which instruct CHD patients about proper diet and exercise, said Ira Ockene, MD, the David and Barbara Milliken Professor of Preventive Cardiology and professor of medicine at UMMS and cardiologist at UMass Memorial Medical Center. Changing ones eating habits is a long-term process, and optimal care should include cardiac rehabilitation and appointments with dietitians, which can build upon the patients initial foundations to improve his or her diet and overall health.

According to study co-author and UMass Memorial Medical Center registered dietitian Barbara Olendzki, RD, MPH, an assistant professor of medicine at UMMS, Physicians and health care providers should consider placing more of an emphasis on dietary counseling, along with exercise, for CHD patients. Nutrition counseling and patient dietary changes can lead to significant improvements in subsequent CHD risk and better quality of life.

Dr. Ma agreed and suggested that, It is important for physicians to refer CHD patients to the cardiac rehabilitation programs and encourage attendance. Future studies should be conducted and directed toward integrating nutrition education materials in cardiac rehabilitation programs. Nutrition education can have a significant impact on a patients overall dietary quality and body-weight control and on subsequent cardiac events and mortality.


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Contact: Nicole Soucy
nicole.soucy@umassmed.edu
508-856-2000
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Source:Eurekalert

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