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25/10/2007

Nutrition and disease prevention...Education vs. medication !

Raise a glass to a diet of fruit and veg which slashes heart attack risk by half

By FIONNA MACRAE - More by this author »
Last updated at 23:45pm on 23rd October 2007
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/arti...in_page_id=1770


A diet based on fruit and vegetables accompanied by the odd glass of wine cuts the risk of heart attack by more than half, researchers claim.

A study of almost 25,000 women showed that those who followed the diet were 60 per cent less likely to suffer heart problems.

Non-smokers who followed it and also exercised cut the risk by 90 per cent.

The study in Sweden will be of great interest in Britain where more than 113,000 women died from heart disease and stroke in 2004, 38,000 more than died from cancer.

The researchers tracked the diet and health of a group of postmenopausal women for six years.

During the course of the study, 308 of the women had a heart attack, of which 51 were fatal.

Analysis showed that those who ate lots of fruit and vegetables in conjunction with wholegrain foods, fish, beans and small amounts of alcohol were 57 per cent less likely to have had a heart attack.

The amount of alcohol found to be beneficial was roughly the equivalent of half a glass of wine a day.

Writing in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, the researchers, from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, said diet and lifestyle could have a huge effect on heart health. "Coronary heart disease is the most important cause of death and disability in women," they said.

"Despite a lower incidence in women, coronary heart diseaserelated mortality and the percentage of sudden deaths from coronary heart disease without previous symptoms is higher.

"And the trend of decline in incidence is slower than in men."

A study published in August found that fruit, nuts and vegetables do not cut the chances of heart disease among those who are most at risk.

While generally good for the heart, they had no effect at all on women in the high-risk category, according to research in the U.S.

Previous studies have claimed antioxidants in fruit - vitamins C and E and beta carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A - have all helped reduce the chances of a heart attack.

But a ten-year study of more than 8,000 women with a history of heart disease said this claim is simply not true.

None of the antioxidants found in fruit had any effect on reducing the risk of a heart attack or death, said Nancy Cook, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

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