Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.


Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login


High-fibre diet after heart attack may improve survival, study finds

People who survive a heart attack may be able to improve their longevity by increasing their dietary intake of fibre, particularly cereal fibre, suggests research published in the British Medical Journal (online, 29 April 2014).

Analysis of longitudinal data from two large US cohorts found that myocardial infarction (MI) survivors who subsequently ate the highest amount of dietary fibre had a 25 per cent lower risk of all-cause mortality than those with the lowest fibre intake. Increasing fibre intake from before to after MI was also beneficial, leading to reductions in both all-cause and cardiovascular mortality.

Noting that dietary fibre is known to reduce the risks of hypertension, obesity and diabetes, the researchers write: “Future research on lifestyle changes post-MI should focus on a combination of lifestyle changes and how they may further reduce mortality rates beyond what is achievable by medical management alone.”

Lead author Shanshan Li, from Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, and team identified 2,258 women from the Nurses’ Health Study and 1,840 men from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study who suffered a non-fatal MI during a mean of 8.7 and 9.0 years of follow-up, respectively. All participants completed food-frequency questionnaires before and after their MI.

When participants were stratified into fifths of total fibre intake, the pooled multivariate-adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for all-cause mortality was 0.75 (CI 0.58–0.97, P=0.03) for those in the highest versus the lowest fifth.

When the three types of dietary fibre were analysed separately, the protective effect was significant for cereal fibre, with HRs of 0.73 (0.58–0.91) for all-cause mortality and 0.72 (0.52–0.99) for cardiovascular mortality, but not for fruit or vegetable fibre.

Additionally, the degree to which people increased their fibre intake post-MI as opposed to pre-MI was inversely associated with subsequent all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, with pooled adjusted HRs of 0.69 (0.55–0.87) and 0.65 (0.47–0.90), respectively.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2014.11138037

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • Community Pharmacy Handbook

    Community Pharmacy Handbook

    Community Pharmacy Handbook is a survival guide for community pharmacists and students, answering your practical questions. Includes case studies.

    £33.00Buy now
  • Lecture Notes in Pharmacy Practice

    Lecture Notes in Pharmacy Practice

    A comprehensive study guide which summarises the basic principles in pharmacy practice. Clear, bulleted information for quick reference.

    £43.00Buy now
  • MCQs in Pharmacy Practice

    MCQs in Pharmacy Practice

    A study aid with 800 MCQs. Assess your knowledge, analytical skills, and ability to apply this knowledge base in clinical practice.

    £25.00Buy now
  • FASTtrack: Pharmacology

    FASTtrack: Pharmacology

    FASTtrack: Pharmacology is a study guide providing an account of drug action, as well as dealing with molecular pharmacology at a more advanced level.

    £28.00Buy now
  • Prescribing Medicines for Children

    Prescribing Medicines for Children

    Prescribing Medicines for Children is designed to improve understanding on all aspects of paediatric prescribing, from the development of suitable drugs through to their practical administration.

    £60.00Buy now
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Supplementary images

  • Fruit and vegetables (Arcoss/

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.