Objective: To evaluate the associations of dietary fiber after myocardial infarction (MI) and changes in dietary fiber intake from before to after MI with all cause and cardiovascular mortality.
Design: Prospective cohort study.
Setting: Two large prospective cohort studies of US women and men with repeated dietary measurements: the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study.
Participants: 2258 women and 1840 men who were free of cardiovascular disease, stroke, or cancer at enrollment, survived a first MI during follow-up, were free of stroke at the time of initial onset of MI, and provided food frequency questionnaires pre-MI and at least one post-MI.
Main outcome measures: Associations of dietary fiber post-MI and changes from before to after MI with all cause and cardiovascular mortality using Cox proportional hazards models, adjusting for drug use, medical history, and lifestyle factors.
Results: Higher post-MI fiber intake was significantly associated with lower all cause mortality (comparing extreme fifths, pooled hazard ratio 0.75, 95% confidence interval 0.58 to 0.97). Greater intake of cereal fiber was more strongly associated with all cause mortality (pooled hazard ratio 0.73, 0.58 to 0.91) than were other sources of dietary fiber. Increased fiber intake from before to after MI was significantly associated with lower all cause mortality (pooled hazard ratio 0.69, 0.55 to 0.87).
Conclusions: In this prospective study of patients who survived MI, a greater intake of dietary fiber after MI, especially cereal fiber, was inversely associated with all cause mortality. In addition, increasing consumption of fiber from before to after MI was significantly associated with lower all cause and cardiovascular mortality.