Higher dietary lycopene intake is associated with longer cardiac event-free survival in patients with heart failure

Eur J Cardiovasc Nurs. 2013 Aug;12(4):377-84. doi: 10.1177/1474515112459601. Epub 2012 Oct 16.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antioxidants* / administration & dosage
  • Carotenoids* / administration & dosage
  • Diet Records
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / diet therapy*
  • Heart Failure / mortality
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Lycopene
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sodium, Dietary


  • Antioxidants
  • Sodium, Dietary
  • Carotenoids
  • Lycopene