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J Am Diet Assoc. 2004 Dec;104(12):1868-72.

Cholesterol-lowering effect of the Food for Heart Nutrition Education Program.

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  • 1Department of Family Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University, University Hospital, 1015 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.


The objective of this prospective, randomized controlled trial was to assess the effectiveness of the Food For Heart Program patient nutrition tool in hypercholesterolemic outpatients. The setting for this study was an urban academic primary-care practice; 175 hypercholesterolemic adults not taking cholesterol-lowering medications were enrolled as subjects. The study intervention involved four monthly dietary counseling visits, using the Food For Heart Program, conducted by the study research assistant. The main outcome measures were fasting serum lipids (primary); body weight (secondary); and change in Dietary Risk Assessment score (intervention group only), analyzed using Student's t test. Our results showed that total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol decreased 0.40+/-0.65 mmol/L and 0.32+/-0.58 mmol/L, respectively, in the intervention group (n=91), compared with 0.06+/-0.57 mmol/L and 0.0088+/-0.56 mmol/L in the control group (n=84) ( P <.001). There was no significant change in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Intervention subjects lost a small but statistically significant amount of weight, 2.2+/-7.4 pounds ( P <.01), and decreased their Dietary Risk Assessment score 5.9+/-6.5 points ( P <.001). Based on these findings, we concluded that total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, weight, and dietary risk for coronary heart disease decreased significantly in hypercholesterolemic patients counseled using the Food For Heart Program.

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