A new study by researchers at the Intermountain Healthcare Heart Institute in Salt Lake City has found that cardiac catheterization patients who practiced regular intermittent fasting lived longer than those patients who didn’t. In addition, the study found that patients who practice intermittent fasting were less likely to be diagnosed with heart failure. In the study, researchers asked 2,001 Intermountain patients undergoing cardiac catheterization from 2013 to 2015 a series of lifestyle questions, including whether they practiced routine intermittent fasting. Researchers then followed up with those patients 4.5 years later, finding that the routine fasters had greater survival rate than those who did not fast. Because people who fast routinely also are known to engage in other healthy behaviors, the study also evaluated other parameters including demographics, socioeconomic factors, cardiac risk factors, comorbid diagnoses, medications and treatments, and other lifestyle behaviors like smoking and alcohol consumption. Correcting statistically for these factors, long-term routine fasting remained a strong predictor of better survival and lower risk of heart failure, according to researchers. Why long-term intermittent fasting leads to better health outcomes is still largely unknown, though the researchers said it could be a host of factors that affect hemoglobin, red blood cell count, human growth hormone, and sodium and bicarbonate levels, to name a few, which all impact heart health. The researchers caution that fasting is not for everyone. Pregnant and lactating women, young children, and frail older adults should not fast, nor should people who have received an organ transplant, have a suppressed immune system, are immunocompromised, or have an eating disorder. People with chronic diseases—especially those who take medications for diabetes, blood pressure, or heart disease—should not fast unless under the close care and supervision of a physician.
SOURCE: Intermountain Healthcare site. News releases. Intermittent Fasting Increases Longevity in Cardiac Catheterization Patients, New Intermountain Study Finds. 16 Nov 2019. https://intermountainhealthcare.org/news/2019/11/intermittent- fasting-increases-longevity-in-cardiac-catheterization-patients-new-intermountain-study-finds/. Accessed 19 Dec 2019.