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Optimum nutritional strategies for cardiovascular disease prevention and rehabilitation (BACPR)Nutrition has a central role in both primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) yet only relatively recently has food been regarded as a treatment, rather than as an adjunct to established medical and pharmacotherapy. As a field of research, nutrition science is constantly evolving making it difficult for patients and practitioners to ascertain best practice. This is compounded further by the inherent difficulties in performing double-blind randomised controlled trials. This paper covers dietary patterns that are associated with improved cardiovascular outcomes, including the Mediterranean Diet but also low-carbohydrate diets and the potential issues encountered with their implementation. We suggest there must be a refocus away from macronutrients and consideration of whole foods when advising individuals. This approach is fundamental to practice, as clinical guidelines have focussed on macronutrients without necessarily considering their source, and ultimately people consume foods containing multiple nutrients. The inclusion of food-based recommendations aids the practitioner to help the patient make genuine and meaningful changes in their diet. We advocate that the cardioprotective diet constructed around the traditional Mediterranean eating pattern (based around vegetables and fruits, nuts, legumes, and unrefined cereals, with modest amounts of fish and shellfish, and fermented dairy products) is still important. However there are other approaches that can be tried, including low-carbohydrate diets. We encourage practitioners to adopt a flexible dietary approach, being mindful of patient preferences and other comorbidities that may necessitate deviations away from established advice, and advocate for more dietitians in this field to guide the multi-professional team.
Standards and core components for cardiovascular disease prevention and rehabilitation; BACPRIn 2017, the British Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation published its official document detailing standards and core components for cardiovascular prevention and rehabilitation. Building on the success of previous editions of this document (published in 2007 and 2012), the 2017 update aims to further emphasise to commissioners, clinicians, politicians and the public the importance of robust, quality indicators of cardiac rehabilitation (CR) service delivery. Otherwise, its overall aim remains consistent with the previous publications—to provide a precedent on which all effective cardiovascular prevention and rehabilitation programmes are based and a framework for use in assessment of variation in service delivery quality. In this 2017 edition, the previously described seven standards and core components have both been revised to six, with a greater focus on measurable clinical outcomes, audit and certification. The principles within the updated document underpin the six-stage pathway of care for CR, and reflect the extensive evidence base now available within the field. To help improve current services, close collaboration between commissioners and CR providers is advocated, with use of the CR costing tool in financial planning of programmes. The document specifies how quality assurance can be facilitated through local audit, and advocates routine upload of individual-level data to the annual British Heart Foundation National Audit of Cardiac Rehabilitation, and application for national certification ensuring attainment of a minimum quality standard. Although developed for the UK, these standards and core components may be applicable to other countries.