NEWS

Hearty diet leads to longer life

Lovers of Mediterranean cuisine got some more good news from medical experts yesterday as the results of a survey showed that people with heart conditions can get a boost from the diet, while wine drinkers were warned to go easy on their favorite tipple. According to the results of a survey that is to be presented at the Panhellenic Cardiology Conference currently being held in Athens, patients with heart problems have less of a chance of experiencing a serious heart attack if they follow a Mediterranean diet, exercise regularly, consume small amounts of wine and say no to cigarettes. Moderate drinking was defined as one to two glasses of wine per day, while a 30-minute walk twice a week was the exercise level recommended. By following this lifestyle, heart attacks suffered can be less serious and the patient will see faster improvement in their health in the first month after they leave the hospital, the study said. The report based its conclusions on data taken from six different hospitals across the country between October 2003 and 2004. During the 12-month period, the survey looked at data from 2,172 people in hospital. Of the patients admitted to hospital, two-thirds of them had suffered a heart attack while the remainder had experienced severe chest pains, figures that are in line with European averages, according to medical experts. The patients who followed at least two of the recommendations made by experts who worked on the study would reduce by a third their chances of being hospitalized, said Christos Pitsavos, an associate professor of cardiology.