Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Heart attack survivors who eat lots of fiber live longer, study finds

Date:
April 29, 2014
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
People who survive heart attacks have a greater chance of living longer if they increase their dietary intake of fiber -- and eating lots of cereal fiber is especially beneficial, finds research. It is well-known that healthy people who have a high intake of dietary fiber have a lower risk of developing coronary heart disease but until now it has been unclear whether advising heart attack survivors to eat more fiber will improve their chances of living longer.

When the researchers looked at the three different fiber types -- cereal, fruit and vegetable -- only higher cereal fiber intake was strongly associated with an increased chance of long-term survival after a heart attack. Breakfast cereal was the main source of dietary fiber.
Credit: romankorytov / Fotolia

People who survive heart attacks have a greater chance of living longer if they increase their dietary intake of fiber -- and eating lots of cereal fiber is especially beneficial, finds research published today on bmj.com.

Those who ate most fiber had a 25% lower chance of dying in the nine years after their heart attack compared with those who ate least fiber, the researchers found. Every 10g per day increase in fiber intake was associated with a 15% lower risk of dying over the nine-year follow-up period.

The researchers point out that with more people surviving heart attacks, it will be increasingly important to find out what lifestyle steps they can take alongside their medication to improve their long-term health prospects.

It is well-known that healthy people who have a high intake of dietary fiber have a lower risk of developing coronary heart disease but until now it has been unclear whether advising heart attack survivors to eat more fiber will improve their chances of living longer.

The research team, based in Boston, USA, therefore analyzed data from two big US studies, the Nurses' Health Study of 121,700 female nurses and the Health Professional Follow-up Study of 51,529 male health professionals. In both studies, the participants completed detailed questionnaires on their lifestyle habits every two years.

The researchers looked at the 2,258 women and 1,840 men who survived a first myocardial infarction (MI) -- a heart attack -- during the course of the studies. They were followed for an average of almost nine years after their heart attack, during which time 682 of the women and 451 of the men died.

Participants were divided into five groups (quintiles) according to how much fiber they ate after their heart attack. The top quintile -- the one in five who ate most fiber -- had a 25% lower chance of dying from any cause during the nine years after their heart attack compared with the bottom quintile -- the one in five who ate least fiber. When considering only cardiovascular causes of death (heart attack, stroke and coronary heart disease), the top quintile had a 13% lower mortality risk than the bottom quintile.

When the researchers looked at the three different fiber types -- cereal, fruit and vegetable -- only higher cereal fiber intake was strongly associated with an increased chance of long-term survival after a heart attack. Breakfast cereal was the main source of dietary fiber.

All the results were adjusted for other factors that might affect the chance of survival after a heart attack, including age, medical history and other dietary and lifestyle habits.

The researchers point out that heart attack survivors have a higher risk of dying than the general population and are often more motivated to make changes to their lifestyle -- yet treatment to improve their chances of living longer generally neglects the importance of a healthier lifestyle in favour of long-term medication.

'Future research on lifestyle changes post-MI should focus on a combination of lifestyle changes and how they may further reduce mortality rates beyond what is achievable by medical management alone,' they conclude.

High dietary fiber intake can improve blood lipid levels and reduce the risk of high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes while a low-fiber diet is associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer.

Less than 5% of Americans consume the minimum recommended fiber intake of 25g per day for women and 38g per day for men. In the UK, adults are recommended to eat at least 18g of fiber daily but dietary surveys suggest people eat an average of only 14g.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. S. Li, A. Flint, J. K. Pai, J. P. Forman, F. B. Hu, W. C. Willett, K. M. Rexrode, K. J. Mukamal, E. B. Rimm. Dietary fiber intake and mortality among survivors of myocardial infarction: prospective cohort study. BMJ, 2014; 348 (apr28 8): g2659 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.g2659

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Heart attack survivors who eat lots of fiber live longer, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140429184838.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2014, April 29). Heart attack survivors who eat lots of fiber live longer, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140429184838.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Heart attack survivors who eat lots of fiber live longer, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140429184838.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins