Objective: To develop and evaluate acceptability of an intensive and ethnic-specific cholesterol-lowering diet program with a strong behavioral component in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Method: A comprehensive program with a behavioral component and culturally sensitive menus was developed in an effort to alter dietary behavior in patients with SLE. Four SLE patients, 2 African American and 2 Mexican American, enrolled in this program. Data on food intake (3-day food record), acceptability of the program (subjective response), and physiologic variables were collected at baseline, 6 weeks, and 12 weeks.
Results: The program was highly rated by all patients and found to be informative, easy to understand, ethnically sensitive, and to contain useful behavioral maintenance strategies. All 4 patients surpassed or were close to their diet goals at both 6 and 12 weeks. In this small group of patients, there was a statistically significant reduction in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (P = 0.04) and body weight (P = 0.001), as assessed by repeated measures analysis of variance.
Conclusion: The culturally specific cholesterol-reducing diet program was highly rated and appeared to be effective in changing the diet of this small group of SLE patients, as determined by their food records and body weight. The impact of this program, including the individual components on cardiovascular disease risk factors, needs to be evaluated in a larger multiple-arm study with a lengthier intervention.