PHOTO: CLEVELAND CLINIC
People who skip breakfast and dine late or close to bedtime may be more susceptible to heart attacks and post-heart attack effects, a new study warns.
Researchers found that people with both eating habits were four to five times more likely to die, another heart attack or angina (chest pain) within 30 days after discharge from a heart attack. The study, published in European Journal of Preventive Cardiologyis the first to evaluate these unhealthy behaviors in patients with acute coronary syndromes.
Breakfast was ignored at 58%, evening dinner at 51% and behaviors at 41%, reported Hindustan Times. The study involved patients with a particularly severe form of heart attack called ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI).
"One out of ten STEMI patients die within a year and nutrition is a relatively inexpensive and easy way to improve prognosis," said Marcos Minicucci of the State University of São Paulo, Brazil.
Minicucci recommended a minimum of two hours between dinner and bedtime. "A good breakfast is usually made up of dairy products, whole carbs and fruits," he said in a statement. "It should take 15% to 35% of the total calories eaten daily."
The study included 113 patients with a mean age of 60 years. About 73% of them were men. They were asked about dietary behaviors on admission to a coronary intensive care unit. Breakfast was skipped like nothing before lunch, excluding drinks like coffee and water, at least three times a week. The dawn dinner was defined as a meal within two hours before bedtime, at least three times a week.
Minicucci noted that the late-night dinner was set by the two-hour interval between dinner and bedtime, rather than eating late at night. However, almost all participants with this habit were late eaters.
Previous studies have found that people who miss breakfast and have a late dinner are more likely to indulge in other unhealthy habits such as smoking and being physically inactive. "Our research shows that both eating behaviors are independently linked with poorer outcomes after a heart attack, but having a set of bad habits will only make things worse," Minicucci said.
He added: "People who work late can be particularly susceptible to a late dinner and then do not feel hungry in the morning. We also found that the inflammatory response, oxidative stress and endothelial function may be involved in the association between unhealthy eating behaviors and cardiovascular outcomes. "
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