Eating Patterns and Risks of Heart Attack and Death

Does Eating Late Dinners and Skipping Breakfast increase the risk of Death and recurrent Heart Attacks?

A recent study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology (April 17,2019)says exactly this. In this study of 113 patients admitted to the ICU after a major Heart attack, they were individually asked about their eating habits with a questionnaire. Skipping breakfast was defined as NOT eating until lunch (excluding Coffee and water) for at least 3 days a week. Late dinners were defined as dinners (and not snacks) that were eaten less than 2 hrs before going to bed atleast 3 times a week.

They found that 23% of the study population suffered from the primary end point ie death (5.3%)or readmission for reinfarction or recurring Chest pain(17.7%) after the first Heart Attack.

Many of us have heard that you have to Breakfast like a King to stay healthy. It is recommended that Breakfast provides 35% of the total calories consumed through the day. The stress of modern living along with greater distances travelled to work returning home late is forcing people to eat their dinners late and skip Breakfast daily as a habit. They may sleep late, wake up late in the morning and consequently skip their breakfast in their hurry to reach their Office.

The authors feel that eating late and skipping breakfast, although a part of cluster of bad habits of modern living independently contributed to adverse Cardiovascular outcomes especially after the first Heart Attack. They hypothesise that these habits increase inflammation, oxidative stress and endothelial dysfunction that may contribute to the poorer Cardiovascular outcomes.

This study is interesting for me because it provides some evidence to suggest that our Old Grandmas were probably right after all!

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