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Poor Diet Common One Year After Coronary Disease Event

Surveyed patients eat too little fruit, too few vegetables, too much fat

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Although dietary risk factors for coronary heart disease have been studied and are well known, there have been few dietary studies of patients who have been diagnosed with coronary heart disease. In a study published in the February issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, an overwhelming majority of patients surveyed one year after diagnosis of coronary heart disease were found to eat a poor-quality diet.

Yunsheng Ma, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues from the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, Mass., surveyed 555 coronary heart disease patients (mean age 61) using a 24-hour dietary recall phone interview, assessing foods eaten and portion sizes.

The researchers found that 12.4 percent of those surveyed ate at least five servings of vegetables per day, 7.8 percent ate four or more servings of fruit per day and fewer than 8 percent ate the recommended daily cereal fiber intake. Only 5.2 percent limited their trans-fat intake to less than the maximum recommended. Only one dietary recall call was made, whereas other dietary studies have made three calls.

"It may be helpful for physician and health care providers to refer coronary heart disease patients to behavioral interventions that include both diet and physical activity components, such as cardiac rehabilitation. In addition, they may need to see a registered dietitian for their dietary modifications," Ma and colleagues conclude.

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