Western diet increases heart risk globally

(UPI Photo Files)
(UPI Photo Files) | License Photo

HAMILTON, Ontario, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- The typical Western diet -- fried foods, salty snacks, meat -- accounts for some 30 percent of heart attack risk across the world, Canadian researchers said.

Researchers analyzed the Interheart study, which documents the association of risk factors and the risk of heart attack in about 16,000 participants in 52 countries.


Senior author Dr. Salim Yusuf of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, analyzed 5,761 heart attack cases and compared them to 10,646 people without known heart disease, or the controls.

The researchers identified three dietary patterns in the world:

-- Oriental: higher intake of tofu, soy and other sauces.

-- Prudent: higher intake of fruits and vegetables.

-- Western: higher intake of fried foods, salty snacks, eggs and meat. The study, published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, found people who consumed the Prudent diet of more fruits and vegetables had a 30 percent lower risk of heart attack compared to people who ate little or no produce. The Oriental pattern showed no relationship with heart attack.

"This study indicates that the same relationships that are observed in Western countries exist in different regions of the world," Yusuf said in a statement.

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