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Usefulness of Routine Periodic Fasting to Lower Risk of Coronary Artery Disease among Patients Undergoing Coronary Angiography

Horne BD, May HT, Anderson JL, Kfoury AG, Bailey BM, McClure BS, Renlund DG, Lappé DL, Carlquist JF, Fisher PW, Pearson RR, Bair TL, Adams TD, Muhlestein JB.

Jul 10, 2008

American Journal of Cardiology. 2008;102(7):814-819. doi:10.1016/j.amjcard.2008.05.021

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is common and multi-factorial. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS, or Mormons) in Utah may have lower cardiac mortality than other Utahns and the US population. While the LDS proscription of smoking likely contributes to lower cardiac risk, it is unknown whether other shared behaviors also contribute. This study evaluated potential CAD-associated effects of fasting. Patients (N1=4,629) enrolled in the Intermountain Heart Collaborative Study registry (1994-2002) were evaluated for association of religious preference with CAD diagnosis (≥70% coronary stenosis on angiography) or no CAD (normal coronaries, <10% stenosis). Consequently, another set of patients (N2=448) were surveyed (2004-2006) for association of behavioral factors with CAD, with the primary variable being routine fasting (i.e., abstinence from food and drink). Secondary survey measures included proscription of alcohol, tea, and coffee, social support, and religious worship patterns. In population 1 (initial), 61% of LDS and 66% of all others had CAD (adjusted [including for smoking]: odds ratio [OR]=0.81; p=0.009). In population 2 (survey), fasting was associated with lower risk of CAD (64% vs. 76% CAD; OR=0.55, CI=0.35, 0.87; p=0.010) and this remained after adjustment for traditional risk factors (OR=0.46, CI=0.27, 0.81; p=0.007). Fasting was also associated with lower diabetes prevalence (p=0.048). In regression models entering other secondary behavioral measures, fasting remained significant with similar effect size. In conclusion, not only proscription of tobacco, but also routine periodic fasting was associated with lower risk of CAD.

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Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), Smoking

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