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Ramadan fasting: recommendations for patients with cardiovascular disease.

Akhtar, AM; Ghouri, N; Chahal, CAA; Patel, R; Ricci, F; Sattar, N; Waqar, S; (2021) Ramadan fasting: recommendations for patients with cardiovascular disease. Heart 10.1136/heartjnl-2021-319273. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Ramadan fasting is observed by most of the 1.8 billion Muslims around the world. It lasts for 1 month per the lunar calendar year and is the abstention from any food and drink from dawn to sunset. While recommendations on 'safe' fasting exist for patients with some chronic conditions, such as diabetes mellitus, guidance for patients with cardiovascular disease is lacking. We reviewed the literature to help healthcare professionals educate, discuss and manage patients with cardiovascular conditions, who are considering fasting. Studies on the safety of Ramadan fasting in patients with cardiac disease are sparse, observational, of small sample size and have short follow-up. Using expert consensus and a recognised framework, we risk stratified patients into 'low or moderate risk', for example, stable angina or non-severe heart failure; 'high risk', for example, poorly controlled arrhythmias or recent myocardial infarction; and 'very high risk', for example, advanced heart failure. The 'low-moderate risk' group may fast, provided their medications and clinical conditions allow. The 'high' or 'very high risk' groups should not fast and may consider safe alternatives such as non-consecutive fasts or fasting shorter days, for example, during winter. All patients who are fasting should be educated before Ramadan on their risk and management (including the risk of dehydration, fluid overload and terminating the fast if they become unwell) and reviewed after Ramadan to reassess their risk status and condition. Further studies to clarify the benefits and risks of fasting on the cardiovascular system in patients with different cardiovascular conditions should help refine these recommendations.

Type: Article
Title: Ramadan fasting: recommendations for patients with cardiovascular disease.
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/heartjnl-2021-319273
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/heartjnl-2021-319273
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.
Keywords: Coronary artery disease, education, global health, heart failure, hypertension, medical
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Population Science and Experimental Medicine
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10131356
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