Feeding the emergence of advanced heart disease in Soweto: A nutritional survey of black African patients with heart failure

Sandra Pretorius, Karen Sliwa, Verena Ruf, Karen Walker, Simon Stewart

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: To describe dietary habits and potential nutritional deficiencies in black African patients diagnosed with heart failure (HF). Methods and Results: Dietary intake in 50 consecutively consenting HF patients (mean age: 47 ± 18 years, 54% female) attending a major hospital in Soweto, South Africa were surveyed using validated quantitative food frequency questionnaires. Food intakes, translated into nutrient data were compared with recommended values. In women, food choices likely to negatively impact on heart health included added sugar [consumed by 75%: median daily intake (interquartile range) 16 g (10-20)], sweet drinks [54%: 310 ml (85-400)] and salted snacks [61%: 15 g (2-17)]. Corresponding figures for men were added sugar [74%: 15 g (10-15)], sweet drinks [65%: 439 ml (71-670)] and salted snacks [74%: 15 g (4-22)]. The womens' intake of calcium, vitamin C and vitamin E was only 66, 37 and 40% of the age-specific requirement, respectively. For men, equivalent figures were 66, 87 and 67%. Mean sodium intake was 2 372 g/day for men and 1 972 g/day for women, 470 and 294% respectively, of recommended consumption levels. Conclusions: The nutritional status of black African patients with HF could be improved by recommending healthier food choices and by reducing the intake of sweet drinks and excess salt.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-251
Number of pages7
JournalCardiovascular Journal of Africa
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes



  • Africa
  • Food preferences
  • Heart failure
  • Malnutrition
  • Salt

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