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Fiber Intake Boosts Heart Attack Survival

Update Date: Apr 29, 2014 08:56 PM EDT

Consuming more fiber may extend longevity in heart patients, according to a new study.

New research suggests that heart attack survivors are significantly more likely to live longer if they increase their fiber consumption.

Researchers found that heart attack survivors who ate the most fiber were 25 percent less likely to die in the nine years after their heart attack compared to those who ate the least fiber.

The findings revealed linked every gram increase in fiber intake to a 15 percent lower risk of dying over the nine-year follow-up period.

The latest study involved data from two big US studies, the Nurses' Health Study of 121,700 female nurses and the Health Professional Follow-up Study of 51,529 male health professionals.

Researchers noted that 2,258 women and 1,840 men who survived a first a heart attack during the course of the studies were followed for an average of almost nine years after their heart attack. Study data revealed that 682 women and 451 men who suffered heart attack died during the follow up.

The study divided the participants into five groups according to fiber intake. The findings revealed that participants who ate the most fiber had a 25 percent lower chance of dying from any cause during the nine years after their heart attack compared with those who ate the least fiber.

After analyzing cardiovascular causes of death, such as heart attack, stroke and coronary heart disease, researchers found that participants the top quintile had a 13 percent lower risk of death risk than those in the bottom quintile.

"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," researchers concluded.

The findings are published in the BMJ-British Medical Journal.

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