Lifestyle profiles improve 6 months after ACS event
Diet, physical activity and smoking behaviour in patients improve greatly 6 months after first acute coronary syndrome (ACS) event, a new study has shown. Patients with unhealthy behaviours have the greatest difficulty in maintaining healthier lifestyles over time.
Healthy behaviours of 223 consecutive ACS patients (mean age 57.14±8.0 years; 84 percent male) regarding smoking, physical activity and diet, along with anxiety and depression symptoms, were measured using self-report instruments at initiation of cardiac rehabilitation (T0), and at 6 (T1) and 12 (T2) months after ACS.
At T0, adequate diet was reported in only 20.6 percent of the participants. Similarly, few were physically active (36.3 percent) and were nonsmokers (39.5 percent). By T1, 48.2 percent had an adequate diet while 61.4 and 88.2 percent were physically active and nonsmokers, respectively.
Findings were similar at T2, where 48.4 percent of the patients had adopted an adequate diet while 60 percent were physically active. Additionally, 90.2 did not smoke. These findings suggest behavioural stability for up to at least 12 months after ACS.
Psychological distress was also compared between T1 and T2 using multivariate analysis of variance. When clustered according to healthy lifestyle behaviours adopted, a significant among-group difference was found for depression (p=0.005) but not anxiety (p=0.104).
Dietary behaviour was assessed using the Mediterranean Diet Scale, while the Rapid Assessment of Physical Activity was used to evaluate level of physical activity. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale was used to assess anxiety and depression symptoms.
“[O]ur findings have demonstrated the co-occurrence and inter-relatedness of adhering to the Mediterranean diet, engaging in physical activity and smoking in ACS patients,” said researchers.
“These … suggest a general improvement of health-related habits 6 months after the acute event. No further improvement was detected twelve months later, as clearly confirmed by the percentages of proper behaviours in the entire group, which greatly improved from baseline to T1 and then remained stable at T2,” they added.