New heart health study at St. Paul's (Dr. Jiri Frohlich)

The timing for St. Paul’s Hospital’s Healthy Heart Program couldn't be better. Researchers at St. Paul’s are recruiting patients for a study to determine whether a diet high in cholesterol-busting fibre and plants, coupled with exercise, can reduce the size of artery-clogging plaque and lower other risk factors for heart disease.

The study hopes to determine if diet and exercise decreases hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), which can lead to heart disease and stroke. The five-year study of 200 people will take place in Vancouver, Toronto and Quebec City. St. Paul’s will enrol 50 people in Vancouver who can participate in the study for three years.

 The study follows the hospital’s 2011 Portfolio Diet study, which looked at whether it could be as effective as cholesterol-lowering medications in combating heart disease. That study found the diet reduced bad levels of cholesterol (LDL) by 13 per cent on average. 

Sandra Thomas reports

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