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Nutrition, Vitamins & Supplements for Seniors

Seniors See 35% Reduction in Cardiovascular Death Risk from Eating Heart Healthy Diet

AHA Heart Healthy diet offers significant protection for older people with cardiovascular problems from recurring attacks

Dec. 6, 2012 – A new study of senior citizens with cardiovascular disease has found those who ate a heart-healthy diet significantly reduced their chances of future cardiovascular events. And, their risk of dying from such an event was reduced by 35 percent.

 “At times, patients don’t think they need to follow a healthy diet since their medications have already lowered their blood pressure and cholesterol — that is wrong,” said Mahshid Dehghan, Ph.D., study author and a nutritionist at the Population Health Research Institute, McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

“Dietary modification has benefits in addition to those seen with aspirin, angiotensin modulators, lipid-lowering agents and beta blockers.”

The report on the study is published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.

 

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Read more on Nutrition, Vitamins & Supplements

 

For the study, 31,546 adults (average age 66.5) with cardiovascular disease or end organ damage were asked how often they consumed milk, vegetables, fruits, grains, fish, meat and poultry in the past 12 months. They were also asked about lifestyle choices such as alcohol consumption, smoking and exercise. Total scores were determined by daily fruits, vegetables, grains and milk consumed and the ratio of fish to meats consumed.

During a follow-up of nearly five years, participants experienced 5,190 cardiovascular events.

Heart Healthy Diet...

As part of a healthy diet, an adult consuming 2,000 calories daily should aim for:

·          Fruits and vegetables: At least 4.5 cups a day

·         Fish (preferably oily fish): At least two 3.5-ounce servings a week

·         Fiber-rich whole grains: At least three 1-ounce-equivalent servings a day

·         Sodium: Less than 1,500 mg a day

·         Sugar-sweetened beverages: No more than 450 calories (36 ounces) a week

Other Dietary Measures:

·         Nuts, legumes and seeds: At least 4 servings a week

·         Processed meats: No more than 2 servings a week

·         Saturated fat: Less than 7% of total energy intake

The American Heart Association recommends that you eat a wide variety of nutritious foods daily. Remember, even simple, small changes can make a big difference in living a better life.

More at AHA Nutrition Center

Researchers found those who ate a heart-healthy diet had a:

  35 percent reduction in risk for cardiovascular death;

  14 percent reduction in risk for new heart attacks;

  28 percent reduction in risk for congestive heart failure; and

  19 percent reduction in risk for stroke.

Food habits in different regions of the world varied considerably; however, a healthy diet was associated with prevention of recurrent cardiovascular disease throughout the world in countries with different economic levels, Dehghan said.

A diet rich in vegetables and fruits with a higher ratio of fish to meats appeared to be more beneficial for preventing heart disease than for preventing cancer, fractures or injury.

“Physicians should advise their high-risk patients to improve their diet and eat more vegetables, fruits, grains and fish,” Dehghan said.

“This could substantially reduce cardiovascular recurrence beyond drug therapy alone and save lives globally.”

Co-authors are Andrew Mente, Ph.D.; Koon K. Teo, Ph.D.; Peggy Gao, M.Sc.; Peter Sleight, D.M.; Gilles Dagenais, M.D.; Alvaro Avezum, M.D.; Jeffrey L. Probstfield, M.D.; Tony Dans, M.D.; and Salim Yusuf, D.Phil. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

Boehringer Ingelheim funded the study.

>> For more information on health eating visit the AHA Nutrition Center .

>> Follow @HeartNews on Twitter for the latest heart and stroke news.

>> For updates from the Circulation journal follow @CircAHA .

>> cardiovascular disease

>> heart-healthy diet

 

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