Author + information
- Nicole Harkin,
- Jeffrey Berger,
- Yu Guo,
- Arthur Schwartzbard and
- Eugenia Gianos
The American College of Cardiology has identified heart healthy diets as critical for cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk reduction and recommends physicians provide dietary guidance to those at risk for or with established CVD. We surveyed physicians to assess their knowledge of nutrition clinically relevant to CVD prevention.
An online, anonymous survey was administered to Internal Medicine (IM) and Cardiology faculty, fellows, and residents at a large tertiary academic center. Nutritional knowledge was assessed as percent correct responses to fact-based questions. Self-reported attitudes and practices regarding CVD prevention were also queried.
A total of 236 participants responded, 140 IM and 96 cardiologists. Overall response rate was 26.7%. The majority (66%) were attendings. The Mediterranean diet was most recommended (55%), followed by low-fat (40%), DASH (38%), and low-glycemic index (18%). Respondents rated nutrition as important as statins for CVD risk reduction, yet only 13.5% agreed or strongly agreed they were adequately trained to discuss nutrition with patients. The majority (57.7%) spent 3 minutes or less counseling about diet and lifestyle modifications. On average, 64% of knowledge-based questions were answered correctly, with no difference between IM (63%) and Cardiology (66%). Almost all (89.7%) knew the Mediterranean diet reduced CVD events in randomized controlled trials, but only 45.5% knew this was not true for low-fat diets. Knowledge regarding blood pressure lowering effects of fruits and vegetables and LDL-cholesterol lowering effects of soluble fiber was good (81.7% and 87.6%, respectively). In contrast, only 69.5% correctly identified food high in soluble fiber and 30.8% an oily fish. Cardiologists did not score higher on any individual knowledge question than IM physicians.
Physicians believe diet is important in CVD prevention, but practical knowledge and self-reported training in nutrition is suboptimal. Cardiologists are not more knowledgeable than IM physicians. If confirmed at other hospitals, this study suggests specific knowledge gaps to target for physician training in dietary counseling.
Poster Hall B1
Sunday, March 15, 2015, 9:45 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
Session Title: Statins, Cholesterol Guidelines and Lifestyle
Abstract Category: 21. Prevention: Clinical
Presentation Number: 1178-115
- 2015 American College of Cardiology Foundation