Lifestyle management in the reversal of atherosclerosis
Increased physical activity and exercise have been associated with reduction in risk for cardiovascular disease. It has been postulated that increased physical activity along with diet modification and smoking cessation can lead to atherosclerotic regression. The purpose of this review of research was to examine the effects of lifestyle modifications on atherosclerotic progression/regression. Dietary modifications, increasing physical activity levels, and a combination of the two were examined for their effectiveness in altering the progression of atherosclerosis. Twenty- eight studies were examined to determine what lifestyle modifications have proven effective in reducing factors of cardiac disease and atherosclerosis. The findings were consistent in showing that alterations in diet and increased physical activity levels were successful in altering the progression of atherosclerosis. Altering dietary intake of fat amount and type can provide protective effects against plaque formation while physical activity provides a reduction in pro-atherogenic factors. The combination of diet and exercise was associated with initial reductions in atherosclerosis as well as long term effects including a reduction in the degree of vascular stenosis and a decrease in progression or an increase in regression of atherosclerosis when compared to those who did not participate in the interventions. The interventions reviewed in this study included only non-pharmacological forms of management. Dietary restrictions, such as 10% total fat calorie intake, may be difficult for individuals to maintain and commit to long term. The effects of lipid and cholesterol management through the use of medications with diet and exercise modifications should be reviewed.
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Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.)
College of Nursing
Dissertations, Academic -- Nursing;Nursing -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Thomas, Tara, "Lifestyle management in the reversal of atherosclerosis" (2010). HIM 1990-2015. 1098.