Research News

Are cardiologists really knowledgeable about nutrition?

June, 2017    |

While nutrition is one of the core foundations of cardiovascular health and its risk reduction guidelines, little is known about whether professionals in this field have a firm grasp of it. A recent study published in the American Journal of Medicine determined that they do not.

Researchers looked at the educational experiences, attitudes, and practices relating to nutrition among cardiovascular professionals. Through surveys completed by cardiologists, fellows-in-training, and cardiovascular team members, scientists hoped to better understand their real knowledge of nutrition. Nine hundred and thirty subjects were asked questions about their personal dietary habits, history of nutrition education, and attitudes regarding nutrition interventions.

The results showed that among cardiologists, 90 per cent reported receiving no or minimal nutrition education during fellowship training, 59 per cent reported no nutrition education during internal medicine training, and 31 per cent reported receiving no nutrition education in medical school. On the other hand, 8 per cent described themselves as having “expert” nutrition knowledge. Despite this, fully 95 per cent of cardiologists believe that their role includes personally providing patients with at least basic nutrition information. Addditionally, only 20 per cent of cardiologists ate more than 5 servings of vegetables and fruits per day.

Because of this, all medical professionals—especially those dealing with heart health—need to ensure that they understand and appreciate the vital role nutrition plays in wellness. Ensure that you, your colleagues, and your staff are able to properly explain nutrition to your patients—and, just maybe, practice what you preach.