A healthy diet is crucial in helping prevent and minimize the risk of a heart attack. However, little or no research shows how such risk can be minimized for individuals over 65 years of age with existing heart trouble.
Ontarget and Transend were two parallel studies carried out to explore how diet can affect heart disease. These tests were unique because these individuals were already under medication for a secondary disease such as diabetes.
The research set out to prove that a healthy diet, irrespective of whether one was under proven or non-proven medication, was the way forward for people within the 59 to 72 years age bracket looking to improve their health.
To ensure that the tests were safe test and reliable, they did not include individuals who had acute stroke, renal insufficiency, congestive heart failure, and coronary syndrome. These individuals were turned down because changing their diet could drastically influence how their bodies reacted to their current medication.
The people who participated were in the lower bracket of heart failure incidence possibility. “Test subjects in the healthier quintiles of an altered Alternative Healthy Eating Index had a considerably lower risk of CVD”, according to the study.
Both tests required a follow up of up to 56 months in order to collect reliable data. A modified Alternative Health Eating Index determined the diet of the test subjects. This index provided the measure to how healthy the diet taken by the test subject was.
A Diet risk score compared the collected results from the test. This showed that an improvement in diet improved the way their bodies responded to their current medication.
The diet often included fruits, vegetables, and fish. These foods are considered to lower an individual's risk level to a heart attack. “A higher-quality nutrition was linked with a lowered risk of repeating CVD events among individuals ≥55 years of age with diabetes mellitus and/or CVD”, according to the researchers.
The tests showed clearly that sensitizing the public on the importance of a healthy diet would reduce risk level of heart disease and heart failure.
All it takes is one's commitment to continue monitoring their own diet to minimize on junk and take more fruits and vegetables. “Stressing the importance of a healthy diet by health specialists and advising high-risk persons to improve their nutrition quality would considerably reduce CVD repetition beyond drug treatment and save lives internationally”