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The Impact of Short-term Cardiac Rehabilitation on Changing Dietary Habits in Patients After Acute Coronary Syndrome

Borowicz-Bienkowska, Slawomira MD, PhD; Deskur-Smielecka, Ewa MD, PhD; Maleszka, Maria MSc, PhD; Przywarska, Izabela MD, PhD; Wilk, Malgorzata MSc, PhD; Pilaczynska-Szczesniak, Lucja MSc, PhD; Dylewicz, Piotr MD, PhD

Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention: July/August 2013 - Volume 33 - Issue 4 - p 234–238
doi: 10.1097/HCR.0b013e318293b47b
Brief Reports

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.

The study aimed to determine whether short-term cardiac rehabilitation, including dietary counseling, had an impact on eating patterns in patients following acute coronary syndrome (ACS), treated with percutaneous coronary intervention. Dietary analysis at baseline, at 3 months post-ACS, and at 1 year post-ACS, indicated favorable modifications in eating habits.

Departments of Cardiac Rehabilitation (Drs Borowicz-Bienkowska, Deskur-Smielecka, Maleszka, Przywarska, Wilk, and Dylewicz) and Hygiene (Dr Pilaczynska-Szczesniak), University School of Physical Education, Poznan, Poland.

Correspondence: Slawomira Borowicz-Bienkowska, MD, PhD, Department of Cardiac Rehabilitation, University School of Physical Education in Poznan, Uzdrowiskowa St. 2, 60-480 Poznan, Poland (

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

© 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins