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Dietetic guidelines: diet in secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease (first update, June 2003)

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Abstract Aim 

To update dietetic guidelines summarizing the systematic review evidence on dietary advice to prevent further events in people with existing cardiovascular disease (CVD) (secondary prevention). Methods 

The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE and EMBASE were comprehensively searched to November 2002 for systematic reviews on aspects of diet and heart health. Reviews were included if they searched systematically for randomised controlled trials relating to diet and secondary prevention of CVD. Two members of the UK Heart Health and Thoracic Dietitians Group critically appraised each review. The quality and results of each review were discussed and summarized in a meeting of the whole group. Results 

Providing evidence-based dietary information (including increasing omega-3 fat intake) to all people who have had a myocardial infarction will save more lives than concentrating dietary advice on just those in need of weight loss or lipid lowering. The practice of prioritizing dietetic time in secondary prevention to those with raised lipids is out of date since the advent of statin therapy. However, effective dietary advice for those with angina, stroke, peripheral vascular disease or heart failure is less clear. Conclusion 

There is good systematic review evidence that dietary advice to those with coronary heart disease can reduce mortality and morbidity as well as modify some risk factors. Dietary advice that does this most effectively should be prioritized.

Keywords: cardiovascular disease; coronary heart disease; dietetic practice; evidence-based practice; guidelines; meta-analysis; myocardial infarction; peripheral vascular disease; secondary prevention; stroke; systematic reviews

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2004-08-01

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