Chocolate may reduce stroke risk

Aug. 31, 2012 at 6:57 PM
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STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- A moderate amount of chocolate per day -- about one-quarter cup of chocolate chips -- may be associated with a lower risk of stroke, researchers in Sweden say.

Study author Susanna C. Larsson of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm said the study involved 37,103 Swedish men ages 49-75 who were given a food questionnaire on how often they consumed various food. Researchers then identified stroke cases through a hospital discharge registry.

Over 10 years, there were 1,995 cases of stroke for the first time.

The study, published in the journal Neurology, found men in the study who ate the largest amount of chocolate -- about one-third of a cup of chocolate chips per week -- had a lower risk of stroke compared to those who did not consume any chocolate.

Those eating the highest amount of chocolate had a 17-percent lower risk of stroke, or 12 fewer strokes per 100,000 person-years compared to those who ate no chocolate.

Person-years is the total number of years that each participant was under observation.

"While other studies have looked at how chocolate may help cardiovascular health, this is the first of its kind study to find that chocolate, may be beneficial for reducing stroke in men," Larsson said in a statement.

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