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Am J Med. 2017 May 24. pii: S0002-9343(17)30527-2. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2017.04.043. [Epub ahead of print]

A Deficiency of Nutrition Education and Practice in Cardiology.

Author information

1
From the Gaples Institute for Integrative Cardiology, Deerfield, Ill and the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL. Electronic address: sdevries@gaplesinstitute.org.
2
Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, Florida International University and Baptist Health of South Florida, Miami Beach, FL.
3
Division of Cardiology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.
4
Lifespan Cardiovascular Institute, Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI.
5
Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, Cleveland, OH.
6
Department of Nutritional Sciences, Penn State University, University Park, PA.
7
University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.
8
Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute, Kansas City, MO.
9
Lipid Clinic, Endocrinology and Nutrition Service, Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), Hospital Clínic, Barcelona and Ciber Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBEROBN), Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII), Spain.
10
American College of Cardiology, Washington, DC.
11
Marshall Health, Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, Huntington, WV.
12
Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL.
13
Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, National Jewish Health, Denver, CO.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Nutrition is one of the foundations of cardiovascular guidelines for risk reduction and treatment. However, little is known about whether cardiologists, cardiology fellows-in-training, and cardiovascular team members have the nutrition education and knowledge necessary to implement these guidelines. The aim of this study was to describe the educational experiences, attitudes, and practices relating to nutrition among cardiovascular professionals.

METHODS:

Surveys completed by cardiologists, fellows-in-training, and cardiovascular team members inquired about their personal dietary habits, history of nutrition education, and attitudes regarding nutrition interventions.

RESULTS:

A total of 930 surveys were completed. Among cardiologists, 90% reported receiving no or minimal nutrition education during fellowship training, 59% reported no nutrition education during internal medicine training and 31% reported receiving no nutrition education in medical school. Among cardiologists, 8% described themselves as having "expert" nutrition knowledge. Nevertheless, fully 95% of cardiologists believe that their role includes personally providing patients with at least basic nutrition information. The percentage of respondents who ate ≥5 servings of vegetables and fruits per day was: 20% (cardiologists), 21% (fellows-in-training), and 26% (CV team members).

CONCLUSIONS:

A large proportion of cardiovascular specialists have received minimal medical education and training in nutrition, and current trainees continue to experience significant education and training gaps.

KEYWORDS:

Nutrition; graduate medical education; lifestyle; medical education; prevention

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