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Nutrient Intake in Heart Failure Patients

Grossniklaus, Daurice A. MS, MEd, RN; O'Brien, Marian C. MPH, RN; Clark, Patricia C. PhD, RN, FAAN; Dunbar, Sandra B. DSN, RN, FAAN

The Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing: July-August 2008 - Volume 23 - Issue 4 - p 357-363
doi: 10.1097/01.JCN.0000317433.52210.e0

Background and Research Objective: Approximately 50% of heart failure (HF) patients are thought to be malnourished, and macronutrient and micronutrient deficiencies may potentially aggravate HF symptoms. Thus, concerns have been raised about the overall nutrient composition of diets in HF populations. The purpose of this study was to examine the macronutrient and micronutrient intake by caloric adequacy among community-dwelling adults with HF.

Participants and Methods: A secondary analysis of baseline data of participants in an HF lifestyle intervention study was conducted. Participants (n = 45) were predominantly male (55.6%), white, and non-Hispanic (64.4%); had a mean age of 61 years (SD, 11 years) and mean body mass index of 31.2 kg/m2 (SD, 7.3 kg/m2); were of New York Heart Association functional classes II and III (77.8%); and had a mean ejection fraction of 31.9% (SD, 13.2%); and 69% had a college or higher level of education. The Block Food Habits Questionnaire was used to assess the intake of macronutrients and micronutrients. Analysis included descriptive statistics and Mann-Whitney U tests.

Results and Conclusions: Individuals reporting inadequate daily caloric intake reported a lower intake of macronutrients and micronutrients as well as other differences in dietary patterns compared with individuals reporting adequate daily caloric intake. More than half of the individuals reporting adequate caloric intake did not meet the recommended dietary allowance for magnesium and vitamin E. Interventions aimed at increasing overall intake and nutrient density are suggested. Further research is needed to better understand the relationship between dietary factors and outcomes in HF.

Daurice A. Grossniklaus, MS, MEd, RN Doctoral student, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.

Marian C. O'Brien, MPH, RN Coordinator, Clinical Content, StayWell Custom Communications, Atlanta, Georgia.

Patricia C. Clark, PhD, RN, FAAN Associate Professor, Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing, Georgia State University, Atlanta.

Sandra B. Dunbar, DSN, RN, FAAN Charles Howard Candler Professor, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.

This work was partially supported by funding from the American Heart Association grant-in-aid 990522N and Public Health Service grant M01-RR00039 from the Emory General Clinical Research Center, National Institutes of Health, National Center for Health Resources.

Corresponding author Daurice A. Grossniklaus, MS, MEd, RN, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University, 1520 Clifton Rd, NE, Atlanta, GA 30322 (

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.