News archive 2010
Diet to reduce cardiovascular disease risk31 Mar 2010, PR 72/10
Academics at King's will be undertaking a study on changing diet on risk of cardiovascular disease funded by the Food Standards Agency. The study will test the extent to which a cardioprotective dietary pattern lowers risk in middle-age and older people.
The project leader Professor Tom Sanders, Head of the Nutritional Sciences Division at King's comments: ‘Dietary patterns are linked to risk of heart disease and stroke. Previous research has focused on changing single dietary components rather than the dietary pattern. This new study will test what is currently believed to be a cardioprotective dietary pattern suited to the UK compared with a traditional balanced diet.
'Research in the USA found that a global change in dietary pattern was more effective than tweaking one or two components.'
The study will focus on how the body uses and transports fats (lipid metabolism) and how well the blood vessels and circulation work (vascular function) using state of the art techniques.
The cardioprotective diet contains less salt, fewer sugary drinks and saturated fatty acids but more oily fish, wholegrain cereals and fruit and vegetables. The control diet will be similar to a balanced UK diet composed of traditional foods.
The King’s study aims to recruit 196 men and women aged between 40-70 years. The participants will be randomly allocated to be on the cardioprotective or control diet for 3 months. Before and after the intervention, participants will provide blood and urine samples for analysis and have measurements of vascular function taken.
A key feature built into the study is the use of biomarkers of dietary intake to confirm that the subjects are really complying with the dietary advice. Blood pressure will be measured over 24 hours using a compact portable device and the responsiveness of blood vessels will be examined by modern imaging techniques.
Professor Sanders explains: ‘We are using robust techniques and a large number of participants to be confident that our findings will be dependable. It is tremendously important that dietary advice for preventing heart attacks and strokes, most of which occur without prior warning, is based on solid science’
Notes to editors
King's College London
King's College London is one of the top 25 universities in the world (Times Higher Education 2009) and the fourth oldest in England. A research-led university based in the heart of London, King's has nearly 23,000 students (of whom more than 8,600 are graduate students) from nearly 140 countries, and some 5,500 employees. King's is in the second phase of a £1 billion redevelopment programme which is transforming its estate.
King's has an outstanding reputation for providing world-class teaching and cutting-edge research. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise for British universities, 23 departments were ranked in the top quartile of British universities; over half of our academic staff work in departments that are in the top 10 per cent in the UK in their field and can thus be classed as world leading. The College is in the top seven UK universities for research earnings and has an overall annual income of nearly £450 million.
King's has a particularly distinguished reputation in the humanities, law, the sciences (including a wide range of health areas such as psychiatry, medicine and dentistry) and social sciences including international affairs. It has played a major role in many of the advances that have shaped modern life, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA and research that led to the development of radio, television, mobile phones and radar. It is the largest centre for the education of healthcare professionals in Europe; no university has more Medical Research Council Centres.
King's College London and Guy's and St Thomas', King's College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts are part of King's Health Partners. King's Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC) is a pioneering global collaboration between one of the world's leading research-led universities and three of London's most successful NHS Foundation Trusts, including leading teaching hospitals and comprehensive mental health services. For more information, visit: www.kingshealthpartners.org.
Kate Moore, Public Relations Officer (Health)
Public Relations Department
Tel: 020 7848 4334
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