Heart Attack Survivors Left Starving for Advice

Heart Attack Survivors Left Starving for Advice
Heart Attack Survivors Left Starving for Advice. Credit | Shutterstock

United States: According to a recent study, fewer than 25 percent of individuals who survive severe heart diseases obtain the dietary counseling required to safeguard their long-term health though this is horrible as some of the patients treated with cancer are not provided the experts advice properly, this could be because of that some doctors don’t see the worth in them to provide the post cancer diet to the patients in United States.

Critical Need Unmet

According to a recent study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, only roughly 23% of patients receiving treatment for serious conditions like heart attacks and heart failure receive dietary counseling within three months of being admitted to the hospital.

Research Findings

Professor of internal medicine-cardiology at the University of Michigan Medical School and senior researcher Dr. Brahmajee Nallamothu stated, “Nutrition counseling may reduce a person’s risk for cardiovascular episodes and disease, yet our research shows that the vast majority of patients, who are all at risk after significant heart events, are not receiving this essential education.”

For the study, between late 2015 and early 2020, researchers followed about 150,000 patients who were treated for significant cardiac issues at hospitals around Michigan.

Underutilized Resources

Dietary advice was provided to the majority of patients as a component of a cardiac rehabilitation program. Researchers found that just 20% to 30% of qualifying patients use this type of rehabilitation.

Just 5% of patients received nutritional coaching from experts outside of cardiac rehab.

Barriers to Counseling

According to experts, it’s possible that the doctors don’t think they are knowledgeable enough to provide appropriate counseling, or they just don’t have the time to offer dietary guidance.

“We have seen tremendous results when patients receive this education—some have cut their cholesterol levels in half in a matter of weeks,” lead researcher Dr. Eric Brandt of the Frankel Cardiovascular Center at the University of Michigan said.

In a news release from the institution, Brandt stated, “However, physicians are often limited by the time required to manage other aspects of a patient’s condition.” “Most cardiologists also don’t get enough training to give dietary recommendations themselves.”

Disparities in Access

Researchers discovered that individuals with chronic kidney illness, women, and seniors over 65 had lower rates of receiving nutritional guidance.

The results indicated that patients with Medicare and Medicaid were the next most likely to receive such counseling, behind those with private insurance.

Call for Action

The researchers pointed out that Medicare patients with diabetes and end-stage kidney disease are the only ones who are now eligible for medical nutrition therapy.

Geeta Sikand, a researcher and associate clinical professor of medicine in the cardiology division at the University of California, Irvine, said, “In my long history as a registered dietitian nutritionist, I have felt so grateful seeing how many patients benefit from medical nutrition therapy, yet my patients and I are equally saddened to see that the majority of people must pay out of pocket or be turned away because of lack of access to [dietary counseling by Medicare.”

Researchers found that nearly half of adult Americans eat poorly. Heart health can be significantly impacted by eating a diet rich in wholesome foods.

“The cornerstone for preventing cardiovascular disease is lifestyle,” stated Brandt. Many patients are left without the means to regulate their nutrition if counseling on behavior modification to select the foods that our patients should eat is not provided. I want to see a shift in the environment where eating better is more encouraged and doable.