Heart Failure Risk May Be Reduced With a Plant-Based Diet

Leafy, green vegetables
Leafy, green vegetables
Incident heart failure hospitalizations were reduced with plant-based diets.

Plant-based diets may reduce the risk for incident heart failure hospitalizations, according to data presented at the 2017 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, held November 11-15, 2017 in Anaheim, California.1

Kyla M Lara, MD, of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, and colleagues from the University of Alabama at Birmingham examined data from 15,569 participants from the REGARDS cohort (Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke) in order to find the rate of incident heart failure associated with 5 specific dietary patterns.

The dietary patterns were based on the Block 98 food frequency questionnaire, and included convenience, planet-based, sweets, Southern, and alcohol/salads-based diets.

Median follow-up was 2892 days. During this time, 300 participants experienced incident heart failure hospitalizations. The lowest risk for heart failure (42% decrease) was associated with an adherence to the plant-based dietary pattern; no other associations were noted.

“Eating a diet of mostly dark green leafy plants, fruits, beans, whole grains, and fish, while limiting processed meats, saturated fats, trans fats, refined carbohydrates and foods high in added sugars is a heart-healthy lifestyle and may specifically help prevent heart failure,” said Dr Lara in an American Heart Association press release.2

Disclosures: Dr Levitan reports financial relationships with Amgen and Novartis. Dr Safford reports financial relationships with Amgen. Dr Rosenson reports financial relationships with Eli Lilly, Akcea, Amgen, Esperion, Medicines Company, Regeneron, Sanofi, Kowa, MediMergent, Easy Vitals, CVS Caremark, and UpToDate. 

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  1. Lara KM, Levitan EB, Guitterrez OM, et al. Dietary patterns and incident heart failure in adults with no known coronary disease or heart failure. Presented at: American Heart Association 2017 Scientific Sessions; November 11-15, 2017; Anaheim, California. Abstract M2081.
  2. Plant based diet associated with less heart failure risk [news release]. Dallas, TX: American Heart Association. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/plant-based-diet-associated-with-less-heart-failure-risk?preview=c279. Published November 13, 2017. Accessed November 13, 2017.