Brasilia: Do you skip breakfast and eat dinner late at night? Researchers have warned that if this is the case, it may increase the risk of death and other heart-related problems.
The findings, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, suggest that people who lead such an unhealthy lifestyle are four to five times more likely to die prematurely and have a higher risk of having a second heart attack.
“Our findings show that the two eating habits are independently associated with poorer outcomes after a heart attack, but having a cluster of bad habits will only make matters worse,” said co-author Marcos Minicucci of Sao Paolo State University in Brazil.
“We also believe that the inflammatory response, oxidative stress, and endothelial function may play a role in the link between unhealthy eating habits and cardiovascular outcomes,” he added.
The team recruited 113 patients with an average age of 60, 73% of whom were men, for the study. The study enrolled people who had a type of heart attack known as ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI).
According to the researchers, this is the first study to look at these risky behaviours in patients with acute coronary syndromes. Breakfast was skipped by 58% of patients, late night dinner by 51%, and both behaviours were observed in 41%.
Researchers suggested a minimum two-hour interval between dinner and bedtime to improve eating habits.
“A good breakfast typically consists of dairy products (fat-free or low-fat milk, yoghurt, and cheese), a carbohydrate (whole wheat bread, bagels, cereals), and whole fruits,” according to the team.