ACC: Heart-Healthy Menus Can Vary With Equal Outcomes

March 26, 2007

NEW ORLEANS -- In the first mouth-to-mouth comparison between the omega-3 heavy Mediterranean and the AHA's low-fat diets for secondary prevention, outcomes didn't seem to differ so long as MI patients stuck with dietary intervention.

NEW ORLEANS, March 26 -- In the first mouth-to-mouth comparison between the omega-3 heavy Mediterranean diet and the AHA's low-fat menu for secondary prevention, outcomes didn't seem to matter so long as MI patients stuck with interventions.

After two years, there were equivalent mortality and cardiac event-free survival rates, said Katherine R. Tuttle, M.D., of the Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, Wash., and the University of Washington, at the American College of Cardiology meeting.

The dietary interventions together improved the odds of event-free survival by a third compared with perfunctory advice, she found.

"The good news is there's more than one heart-healthy diet," she said. "Either diet is better than usual care, which is just some advice while in the hospital and little advice after."

The results emphasize the need to talk to patients who have had a recent heart attack about compliance to whatever diet they choose, said Paul M. Ridker, M.D., of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, who commented on the study as one of the panelists in the session.