Fast-Food Nation

About one in three heart attack patients resume eating fast food within six months of the cardiovascular event

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Fast food -- which is tremendously high in fat and salt content -- remains a favorite food for a number of patients who have had a heart attack.

New research from University of Missouri, Kansas City indicates that patients who have had a heart attack generally cut back -- at first -- but six months later, more than half still eat fast food frequently.

Dr. John Spertus, a professor at the University of Missouri and one of the authors of the study, said Americans can do better.

Researchers looked at almost 2,500 heart-attack patients who filled out surveys. Some 884 patients -- about one of every three -- reported eating fast food frequently (once a week or more) in the month leading up to their heart attack. When researchers followed up six months later, 503 still ate fast food every week.

Those who ate the most fast-food tended to be white, employed males without a college degree. These patients were also more likely to have unhealthy levels triglycerides (aka fat) in the blood.

Spertus said these individuals fail to follow the American Heart Association's recommendations for diet.

Older patients and those who underwent bypass surgery were more likely to abstain from fast food in the six-month follow up.

The study comprised part of the TRIUMPH study, funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. The American Heart Association also contributed funds to the study.

Another recent study of 3,000 adults, found that the more often people ate fast food, the more likely they were to develop diabetes warning signs and gain weight.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
February 23, 2011
Last Updated:
February 24, 2011