Heart attack survivors should "eat more fibre"


People who have survived a heart attack would benefit from a high fibre diet, according to a study from the United States.1

The research found that diets containing high sources of fibre could reduce the risk of death by 25% in comparison to people who ate lower amounts. The study covered a period of 22 years, and analysed the information of more than 4,000 men and women. Six monthly questionnaires were used to assess lifestyle and medical history, while food consumption was assessed with a second questionnaire.

When comparing those who ate the most fibre with those who ate the least, the top group had lowered their risk of death by 25%. While the study cannot prove that fibre was the sole reason for this, it does indicate an association between fibre and lower death rates.

The research also showed that those who increased their fibre intake after heart attack reduced their risk of death by any cause by up to 33%.

Although the study has some limitations, including the fact that it does not cover potential lifestyle changes after having the heart attack, it does add to growing evidence that fibre has a key part to play in any healthy lifestyle.

Reference

1 Li S, Flint A, Pai JK, et al. Dietary fiber intake and mortality among survivors of myocardial infarction: prospective cohort study. BMJ. Published online April 29 2014