Advertisement

Study: Trans fat bans appear to lower rates of heart attack, stroke

Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine report fewer cardiovascular-related hospitalizations in communities that enact bans of trans fats in foods.

By HealthDay News
In cities that have restricted or banned trans fats from being included in foods, the number of cardiovascular condition-related hospitalizations dropped by about six percent within three years of regulations being enacted, researchers at Yale School of Medicine report. Photo by Thinglass/Shutterstock
In cities that have restricted or banned trans fats from being included in foods, the number of cardiovascular condition-related hospitalizations dropped by about six percent within three years of regulations being enacted, researchers at Yale School of Medicine report. Photo by Thinglass/Shutterstock

WEDNESDAY, April 12, 2017 -- Could the contents of your cupcake affect your heart attack risk?

It seems so, according to a new study that found lower rates of heart attack and stroke in communities that restrict trans fats in foods.

Advertisement

Trans fats, which are found in products such as baked goods, chips, crackers and fried foods, have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. In response, some U.S. cities have implemented policies to reduce trans fats in restaurant food.

"Our study highlights the power of public policy to impact the cardiovascular health of a population. Trans fats are deleterious for cardiovascular health, and minimizing or eliminating them from the diet can substantially reduce rates of heart attack and stroke," said study author Dr. Eric Brandt. He's a clinical fellow in cardiovascular medicine at the Yale School of Medicine.

RELATED Low-carb diets may be more effective than low-fat diets

The researchers compared 2002-13 data from New York counties with and without restrictions on trans fats.

The study found a 6 percent decline in hospitalizations for heart attack and stroke in areas with trans fat restrictions compared to those without within three years of implementing no trans fat policies.

"It is a pretty substantial decline," Brandt said.

Advertisement

Although the study found a link between trans fat restrictions and a lower heart attack and stroke risk, it's important to note that the study wasn't designed to prove a direct cause-and-effect link.

In 2018, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration ban on partially hydrogenated oil in foods will nearly eliminate dietary trans fats nationwide.

The study findings suggest that the FDA's move to restrict trans fats in all foods will have widespread benefits, according to Brandt.

RELATED Research reveals role of sugar industry in heart disease studies

"Even though some companies have reduced the amount of trans fat in food, current FDA labeling guidelines allow up to 0.49 grams of trans fat per serving to be labeled as 0 grams, leaving consumers to scour labels for hidden trans fats, usually labeled as partially hydrogenated oils," Brandt explained in a Yale news release.

"With the upcoming FDA regulation, people need not be so vigilant. A nationwide trans fat ban is a win for the millions of people at risk for cardiovascular disease," he said.

The study was published April 12 in the journal JAMA Cardiology.

More information

The American Heart Association urges you to know your fats.

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Advertisement

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement