PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to determine whether short-term cardiac rehabilitation (CR), including dietary counseling, had an impact on changing eating habits in patients after acute coronary syndrome (ACS), treated with primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).
METHODS: The controlled, prospective, nonrandomized study was performed on 44 patients, early following ACS/PCI, who underwent 2- to 3-week inpatient CR with dietary counseling and compared to 18 patients who did not participate in CR. An analysis of the daily diet composition was performed at baseline, at 3 months post-ACS, and at 1 year post-ACS.
RESULTS: In the CR group, comparing baseline with 3 months post-ACS, daily calorie intake was significantly reduced from a mean ± SD of 2260 ± 525 kcal to 2037 ± 514 kcal (P < .05), and daily cholesterol intake from 509 ± 237 to 394 ± 199 mg (P < .05). The daily energy intake of saturated fatty acids was also significantly reduced from 13.6% at baseline to 12.2 ± 4.5% at 3 months and further reduced at 1 year post-ACS to 10.2 ± 4.3% (P < .05). Although both groups exhibited increased body mass index, the increase was significantly greater in the nonrehabilitation group than in the CR group at 1 year post-ACS (2.61 ± 2.23 vs 0.86 ± 1.67 kg/m2, respectively, P < .001).
CONCLUSIONS: The analysis suggests that a short-term CR program following ACS, which includes educational meetings on dietary prevention of atherosclerosis, may result in some favorable and lasting modifications of eating habits of post-ACS patients.