Posted on May 10, 2013, 6 a.m.
1 in 7 heart disease or stroke patients fail to adopt healthy lifestyle choices following the medical event.
While previous studies suggest that patients who have experienced a cardiovascular event should adjust habits to fit a healthier lifestyle to reduce risks of recurrent disease, only small proportions of individuals followed recommended lifestyle changes. Researchers involved in The Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) Study, involving 7,519 participants from rural and urban communities in high-, middle-, and low-income countries, report that 14.3% of patients worldwide did not alter smoking, engagement in physical activity, or healthy eating habits following disease incidence. Trends in changes of eating and smoking habits varied significantly by average country income designation, with patients in low-income countries having the lowest prevalence of healthy dieting (25.8% versus 43.4% in high-income countries) and smoking cessation (38.1% versus 74.9%) following disease incidence. Post-cardiovascular incident high levels of physical activity were common to around one-third of participants (35.1%), though differences between countries were not significant. Nearly 40% of participants reported eating a healthy diet (39%), though prevalence varied by country average income. By combination of healthy behavior, 42.7% of participants adopted at least one healthy behavior after coronary heart disease or stroke incidence, while 30.6% adopted two behaviors, and 4.3% followed all healthy guidelines. The study authors write that: “Among a sample of patients with a [coronary heart disease] or stroke event from countries with varying income levels, the prevalence of healthy lifestyle behaviors was low, with even lower levels in poorer countries.”
Koon Teo, MB, Scott Lear, Shofiqul Islam, Prem Mony, Mahshid Dehghan, Wei Li, et al., on behalf of the PURE Investigators. “Prevalence of a Healthy Lifestyle Among Individuals With Cardiovascular Disease in High-, Middle- and Low-Income Countries: The Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) Study.” JAMA. 2013;309(15):1613-1621.