Background: The antioxidant lycopene may be beneficial for patients with heart failure (HF). Processed tomato products are a major source of lycopene, although they are also high in sodium. Increased sodium intake may counter the positive antioxidant effect of lycopene.
Methods: This was a prospective study of 212 patients with HF. Dietary intake of lycopene and sodium was obtained from weighted 4-day food diaries. Patients were grouped by the median split of lycopene of 2471 µg/day and stratified by daily sodium levels above and below 3 g/day. Patients were followed for 1 year to collect survival and hospitalization data. Cox proportional hazards modeling was used to compare cardiac event-free survival between lycopene groups within each stratum of sodium intake.
Results: Higher lycopene intake was associated with longer cardiac event-free survival compared with lower lycopene intake (p = 0.003). The worst cardiac event-free survival was observed in the low lycopene intake group regardless of sodium intake (> 3 g/day HR = 3.01; p = 0.027 and ≤ 3 g/day HR= 3.34; p = 0.023).
Conclusion: These findings suggest that increased lycopene intake has the potential to improve cardiac event-free survival in patients with HF independent of sodium intake.
Keywords: Lycopene; antioxidants; heart failure; sodium.