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Diet quality in patients with stroke
  1. Jennifer L Dearborn1,2,
  2. Tehmina Khera2,
  3. Meghan Peterson2,
  4. Zartashia Shahab3,
  5. Walter N Kernan3
  1. 1 Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2 Department of Neurology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
  3. 3 Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jennifer L Dearborn; jtomazos{at}


Objective A healthy diet is associated with reduced risk for stroke, myocardial infarction, cancer and death. We examined the prevalence of a healthy diet in patients with a recent stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA).

Methods We recruited a convenience sample of 95 patients with a recent ischaemic stroke or TIA. Using information from a 125-item Food Frequency Questionnaire, we calculated dietary quality and the percentage of patients meeting recommended daily intake (RDI) for common macronutrients and elements.

Results The mean age of patients was 66 years (SD: 16) and 46% were women. 39 patients (41%) were classified as having a healthy diet (35% of men and 48% of women). The majority of patients were within the RDI for carbohydrates (56.8%), total fat (61.1%), long-chain n-3 fats (68.4%), polyunsaturated fats (79.0%) and protein (96.8%). Very few patients consumed the recommended intake for sodium (25.3%), and even fewer consumed the RDI for potassium (4.2%), with the majority of patients consuming too much sodium and too little potassium.

Conclusion We found that most patients with recent stroke or TIA were not following a healthy diet before their stroke event. For most patients, sodium intake was much above and potassium intake was much below RDI.

  • diet quality
  • stroke
  • secondary prevention
  • sodium
  • potassium

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  • Contributors JLD: study design, primary authorship of manuscript, statistical analysis, interpretation of data and approval of final manuscript. No disclosures. TK: data collection and approval of final manuscript. No disclosures. MP: data collection and approval of final manuscript. No disclosures. ZS: data collection and approval of final manuscript. No disclosures. WNK: study design, data interpretation, manuscript revision and approval of final manuscript. No disclosures.

  • Funding Dr. Dearborn received funding from the Robert E. Leet and Clara Guthrie Patterson Trust Mentored Research Award, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

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