Nutritional behavior, emotional regulation influence CV health

January 29, 2023

2 minutes of reading


The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.

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According to a study published in European Journal on Preventive Cardiology.

“Our results suggest that cardiovascular disease prevention should also consider eating behaviors and include teaching emotion regulation skills.” Anfisa Puchkova-Sistach, from the University of Lorraine in France and colleagues write.

stressed at work

There is an association between emotional eating and cardiovascular damage in adults that may be mediated by stress levels.
Source: Adobe Stock

In a longitudinal, single-center family study of 1,109 initially healthy participants (916 adults, 193 adolescents) from the STANISLAS study cohort in the Lorraine region of France, Puchkova-Sistac and colleagues examined associations between dietary behavior and risk of cardiovascular disease or metabolic syndrome .

Participants completed a questionnaire at the second of four clinical examination visits organized between 1993 and 2016 that assessed eating behavior, cardiovascular damage, carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity, left ventricular mass, carotid intima- media, diastolic dysfunction and metabolic syndrome. The mean follow-up period between the second (mean age of adults, 44.7 years; mean age of adolescents, 15.2 years; adults, 49.7% female; adolescent, 57.5% female) and fourth/last visit (mean adult age, 58 years; adolescent mean age, 29 years) was 13.4 years.

After the follow-up period, the researchers found that there was an increased risk of diastolic dysfunction in adults with a higher emotional eating score (OR = 1.38; 95% CI, 1.05-1.83; P = 0.02). The relationship was mediated by stress level by 31.9% (regression coefficient = 0.04; 95% CI, –0.001 to 0.07; P = 0.06).

In addition, there was a positive association between emotional eating and carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (regression coefficient = 0.02; 95% CI, 0.01-0.04; P = .01) in adults, as well as a negative association between external nutrition and carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (regression coefficient = –0.03; 95% CI, –0.05 to –0.01; P < 0.001) in adults.

Meanwhile, no links were observed between eating behavior and cardiovascular damage in adolescents, according to the researchers.

“We can now hypothesize that not only modulating stress levels but also emotional eating may be a potentially promising way to prevent the onset of diastolic dysfunction later in life,” the researchers wrote. “Using emotion regulation skills through a mindfulness-based intervention, including cognitive, behavioral, psychological, and interpersonal therapies, may be a good strategy for these at-risk patients.” Further clinical trial testing strategies to address psychological factors would be worth pursuing.

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