Objective: To evaluate the response to simple innovative dietary counselling in post myocardial infarction patients.
Design: Randomised controlled trial.
Setting: Cardiac rehabilitation programmes of two acute hospitals in Lanarkshire, Scotland.
Patients: A total of 69 men and 29 women aged 35-75 y who survived acute myocardial infarction and participated in the cardiac rehabilitation programmes of the study hospitals between 1st September 1997 and 1st August 1998.
Results: At 12 weeks follow-up, diet composition had improved significantly in intervention subjects, but no such change was evident in the control group. The target of five portions of fruit and vegetables per day was achieved by 65% of intervention subjects but only 31% of control subjects (P=0.004). Between-group differences in food intakes were no longer evident at 1 y. Diet composition did however remain in line with current dietary targets in intervention subjects.
Conclusion: Compared to conventional cardiac rehabilitation, this intervention, focused on targets known to improve mortality, improved diet in post myocardial infarction patients. However, a more sustained programme is required to maintain improvements. Delivery of the intervention was expensive and further research is required to determine the feasibility of a group approach using the same package.
Sponsorship: The study was supported by Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Executive Department of Health.