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Study examines dietary changes of heart attack survivors

It’s certainly not news to suggest that lifestyle factors may contribute to overall health and wellness. However, readers may wonder how much is understood about that connection.

A recent study suggests that there is much we don’t know about the causes of many diseases and disabilities. In the case of cardiovascular health and heart disease, other cultures around the world do not suffer like the Western world, where it is among the leading causes of death.

A new study represents a large-scale attempt at understanding the connection between diet and heart disease. Researchers tracked the eating habits of about 4,000 men and women who had suffered a heart attack in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Researchers categorized the dietary intake of participants. Potentially unhealthy categories included red and processed meats, sugar-sweetened drinks, fats and alcohol. Researchers also noted the intake of heart-healthy foods, such as vegetables and whole grains.

Based on the data, improvements in diet may have reduced the risk of death from heart disease by 40 percent. If that seems low, readers should keep in mind that a 40 percent improvement is almost comparable to that of cholesterol-lowering drugs.

Recuperation from a disabling disease can be a slow process, which is why individuals with a disability might benefit from a consultation with a Social Security disability attorney. The financial assistance provided by Social Security disability insurance payments might cover the cost of lost income during that process. An attorney might also assist potential applicants with the necessary filing procedures and evidentiary showings.

Source: reuters.com, “Better diet tied to fewer deaths after heart attack,” Andrew M. Seaman, Sept. 3, 2013

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