Patterns and predictors of fast food consumption after acute myocardial infarction
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Background: Fast food is affordable and convenient, yet high in calories, saturated fat and sodium. The prevalence of fast food intake at the time of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and patterns of fast food intake in recovery are unknown. Moreover, the association between dietary counseling at hospital discharge and fast food intake after MI has not been described. Methods: We assessed baseline, 1 and 6-month fast food intake in 2494 patients in TRIUMPH, a 26-center, prospective registry of AMI patients. Fast food intake was divided into frequent (≥ weekly) vs. infrequent (< weekly) consumption. Multivariable regression was used to identify predictors of frequent fast food intake at 6-months, adjusted for baseline fast food consumption, sociodemographics and clinical factors. Results: Frequent fast food intake was common at the time of AMI (36%), but decreased substantially after AMI to 17% at 1-month and 20% at 6-months (p-value <0.0001). Patient characteristics independently associated with frequent fast food intake at 6-months included white race, male gender, health literacy, financial difficulty, dyslipidemia and diabetes. College education, heart failure and coronary revascularization during AMI admission were inversely associated with 6-month fast food consumption. Importantly, dietary counseling at discharge was not associated with lower 6-month fast food intake. Conclusion: Fast food consumption declined substantially after AMI. Certain populations, including patients with financial difficulty and lower health literacy continued to eat fast food frequently after their event. Although several patient groups are at risk for persistent high fast food intake, current dietary counseling efforts appear ineffective at altering behavior and new counseling strategies are needed.