Baqiatallah University of Medical Sciences Tehran. Iran
Objective: With respect to the importance of fasting during the holy month of Ramadan for Muslims; this study was carried out on patients with coronary artery disease to determine the effectsof fasting on their symptoms and lab tests.
Patients & methods: 30 patients, (21 men and 9 women) with documented coronary artery disease were randomly selected from patients presenting to the cardiology clinic in this prospective study (mean age: 58.16 yrs). The patients volunteered to observe the Islamic fasting during the month of Ramadan. Chest pain threshold, functional class, acute coronary events as well as electrocardiography and lab tests such as hemoglobin (Hgb), hematocrit (Hct), platelet count, lipid profile, fasting blood sugar (PBS), and serum electrolytes were evaluated before and at. the completion of the month of fasting. The data were evaluated statistically using SPSS software.
Result: The angina threshold was not lowered in any patient who observed the fasting. Actually, the angina threshold was elevated in four patients, and their functional class improved one level, no acute coronary event was seen in any patients, 10 patients reported an improved general condition and feeling of well being throughout their fasting period. Electrocardiographic evaluation showed no significant changes.Hgb decreasedfrom 15.12±1.65 to 14.82±1.71 (p<0.023) and Hct decreased from 45.05±4.61 to 44.08±4.60 (p<0.041). Platelet count also decreased an average of 22,000 but this was not statistically significaIlt.
Conclusion: We conclude that fasting during the month of Ramadan not only does not increase the severity of coronary artery disease arid does not cause acute coronary events, but also improves the general conditionof about one-thirdof patients.