Sunday November 9, 2008 (foodconsumer.org) -- Survivors
from first heart attack might want to consider using a low fat or Mediterranean
diet and both drastically reduce future cardiovascular events, according to a
Use of a low fat or Mediterranean diet reduced the risk
of cardiovascular events and mortality by about 70 percent in patients who experienced first heart attack, the study found.
The study was conducted led by Tuttle K R and colleagues
from The Heart Institute of Spokane in Spokane, Washington and published in the
June 2008 issue of American Journal of Cardiology.
The researchers meant to examine whether a Mediterranean
style diet reduces cardiovascular events and mortality in patients with first
myocardial infarction (MI) or heart attack more effectively than a low fat
For the study, they randomly assigned 50 patients a low
fat diet and another 50 a Mediterranean-style diets.
A group of 101 patients matched for age, gender,
MI type and treatment and status of diabetes mellitus and hypertension received
usual care without dietary intervention.
Both diets were low in saturated fat (equal or less than
7% kcal) and cholesterol (equal or less than 200 mg per day), but the Mediterranean-style
diet was high in omega-3 fat (>0.75% kcal).
All participants received individual dietary counseling
sessions, 2 in the first month and again at 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months in
addition to 6 group sessions.
The outcomes considered in the study included events including
all-cause and cardiac deaths, MI, hospital admissions for heart failure,
unstable angina pectoris, or stroke.
The researchers found both diets rendered similar
protection and with the low fat diet, 42 of 50 were free of events compared to
43 of 51 who used the Mediterranean diet for a mean follow-up period of 46
In comparison, 85 of 101 patients on the low fat diet and
Mediterranean diet were free of events compared to 61 of 101 who didn't receive
dietary intervention. Those who did not receive dietary intervention were 70
percent more likely to suffer an event.
The researchers concluded that "active intervention
with either a low-fat or a Mediterranean-style diet similarly and significantly
benefits overall and cardiovascular-event-free survival after MI (heart attack)."
Am J Cardiol. 2008 Jun 1;101(11):1523-30.
Comparison of low-fat versus Mediterranean-style dietary
intervention after first myocardial infarction (from The Heart Institute of
Spokane Diet Intervention and Evaluation Trial).
Tuttle KR, Shuler LA, Packard DP, Milton JE, Daratha KB,
Bibus DM, Short RA.
The Heart Institute of Spokane, Sacred Heart Medical Center,
Spokane, Washington, USA. [email protected]
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