BACKGROUND: Presence of numerous diet responsive comorbidities and high atherosclerotic burden among adults with intermittent claudication demands attention is given to diet in an effort to delay progression of peripheral artery disease. The aim of this study was to compare diet of adults with intermittent claudication: (a) against dietary recommendations; (b) following 12 weeks of supervised exercise training; and (c) against non-peripheral artery disease controls.
METHODS: Diet was assessed using a food frequency questionnaire pre and post supervised exercise training. Pre-exercise diet was compared against Suggested Dietary Targets and against non-peripheral artery disease controls matched for gender, age and body weight. Pre-exercise diet was also compared against post-exercise diet.
RESULTS: Pre-exercise 25/31 participants, 5/31 participants, 16/31 participants and 4/31 participants achieved recommendations for protein, carbohydrate, total fat and saturated fat respectively. Few achieved recommended intakes for fibre (3/31 participants), cholesterol (8/31 participants), folate (11/31 participants), potassium (1/31 participants), sodium (4/31 participants), retinol equivalents (1/31 participants) and vitamin C (3/31 participants). There were no differences observed between participants compared to controls in achievement of recommendations. Post-exercise, marginally more participants were able to achieve targets for cholesterol, sodium and vitamin C but not for any other nutrients.
CONCLUSIONS: Despite evidence to support benefits of dietary modification in risk reduction of peripheral artery disease, adults with intermittent claudication continue to consume poor diets. Research is required to determine whether dietary changes can be achieved with greater attention to nutrition counselling and the impact assessed in terms of delayed disease progression and long term health outcomes.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01871779.