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Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

Poor diet contributes 30% to MI risk

Circulation has published the results of a study that aimed to assess the association between dietary patterns and acute myocardial infarction (AMI) using global data.

The study included data from 52 countries and matched 5,761 cases of AMI with 10,646 control subjects. Diet was classified simply using three dietary patterns:

  • Oriental (high intake of tofu and soy and other sauces)
  • Western (high in fried foods, salty snacks, eggs, and meat)
  • Prudent (high in fruit and vegetables)

An analysis of overall dietary scores found that higher scores, indicating a poorer diet, were associated with an increased risk of AMI. This association was statistically significant (P for trend <0.001).

  • First Quartile, Odds ratio 1.0 (reference)
  • Second quartile, 1.29 (95% CI 1.17 to 1.42)
  • Third quartile, 1.67 (95% CI 1.51 to 1.83)
  • Fourth quartile, 1.92 (95% CI 1.74 to 2.11)

The authors conclude that, "An unhealthy dietary intake increases the risk of AMI globally and accounts for approximately 30% of the population-attributable risk".

Action: Clinicians should already be advising patients to consume a healthy diet. This data can be used to illustrate the impact a poor diet has on the risk of having a myocardial infarction.

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