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Keywords:

  • atherosclerosis;
  • cardiovascular nursing;
  • cooking methods;
  • dietary

Aim.  The aim of this study was to identify the dietary-related risk factors for coronary atherosclerosis among Hong Kong Chinese people.

Background.  Prevalence and mortality figures for coronary atherosclerosis are increasing in Chinese communities, including those in Hong Kong. Changes in dietary patterns might explain the increased risk of coronary artery disease among the Hong Kong Chinese.

Method.  A total of 145 consecutive patients scheduled to have coronary angiogram in a regional hospital in Hong Kong completed a self-reported questionnaire on their dietary intake for 1 week. A case–control design was used, and the data were collected from December 2000 to February 2001.

Results.  Consumption of more than 1120 g of fish [28 tael (Chinese weight unit, 1 tael equals approximately 42 g)] per week (OR = 0·07) and soybean (OR = 0·17) had a beneficial effect in preventing coronary atherosclerosis. In addition, an increased waist–hip ratio (OR = 4·81) and consumption of more than 28 teaspoons of fat per week (OR = 42·36) were identified by logistic regression as independent risk factors for coronary atherosclerosis. Moreover, people who smoked (OR = 1·72), had a lower educational level (OR = 0·51) or higher family income (OR = 1·92) were more vulnerable to coronary atherosclerosis. Patients confirmed as having coronary atherosclerosis were more likely than those with normal coronary vessels to rank deep fry, stir fry, and pan fry as their preferred cooking methods over steaming or boiling.

Conclusion.  The results provide nurses with information on which to develop appropriate health education programmes for patients and the general public in Hong Kong to promote cardiovascular health. Efforts should be directed particularly to promoting boiling and steaming as major cooking methods, rather than frying or deep frying, as protective actions against coronary atherosclerosis.