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Published on 07 Feb 2018 / In Light food

People who eat lots of fried food and sugary drinks have a 56 percent higher risk of heart disease compared to those who eat healthier, according to US researchers.

The findings in Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association, were based on a six-year study of more than 17,000 people in the United States.

Researchers found that people who regularly ate what was described as a Southern style diet -- fried foods, eggs, processed meats like bacon and ham, and sugary drinks -- faced the highest risk of a heart attack or heart-related death during the next six years.

"Regardless of your gender, race, or where you live, if you frequently eat a Southern-style diet you should be aware of your risk of heart disease and try to make some gradual changes to your diet," said lead researcher James Shikany, a nutritional epidemiologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham's Division of Preventive Medicine.

"Try cutting down the number of times you eat fried foods or processed meats from every day to three days a week as a start, and try substituting baked or grilled chicken or vegetable-based foods."

The study included both white and African-American men and women aged 45 or older, who did not have heart disease when they began the study.

Participants enrolled from 2003 to 2007. They were first screened by telephone, then given an in-home physical exam, then they answered a food frequency questionnaire.

"Every six months, the participants were interviewed via telephone about their general health status and hospitalizations for nearly six years," said the study.

Participants fell into five different eating groups, including the Southern style eaters; those who favored "convenience" foods like pasta, Mexican food, Chinese food, mixed dishes and pizza; the "plant-based" pattern which was mostly vegetables and fruits; the "sweets" pattern; and the "alcohol/salads" group which tended toward by beer, wine, liquor, green leafy vegetables, tomatoes and salad dressings.

The Southern-style eaters were the only ones faced with a higher risk of heart disease.

Abstract from Southern Dietary Pattern is Associated with Hazard of Acute Coronary Heart Disease in the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) Study:

Background—The association of overall diet, as characterized by dietary patterns, with risk of incident acute coronary heart disease (CHD) has not been studied extensively in samples including sociodemographic and regional diversity.

Methods and Results—We used data from 17,418 participants in Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS), a national, population-based, longitudinal study of white and black adults aged ≥45 years, enrolled from 2003-2007. We derived dietary patterns with factor analysis, and used Cox proportional hazards regression to examine hazard of incident acute CHD events - nonfatal myocardial infarction and acute CHD death - associated with quartiles of consumption of each pattern, adjusted for various levels of covariates. Five primary dietary patterns emerged: Convenience, Plant-based, Sweets, Southern, and Alcohol and Salad. A total of 536 acute CHD events occurred over a median (IQR) 5.8 (2.1) years of follow-up. After adjustment for sociodemographics, lifestyle factors, and energy intake, highest consumers of the Southern pattern (characterized by added fats, fried food, eggs, organ and processed meats, and sugar-sweetened beverages) experienced a 56% higher hazard of acute CHD (comparing quartile 4 to quartile 1: HR = 1.56; 95% CI: 1.17, 2.08; P for trend across quartiles = 0.003). Adding anthropometric and medical history variables to the model attenuated the association somewhat (HR = 1.37; 95% CI: 1.01, 1.85; P = 0.036).

Conclusions—A dietary pattern characteristic of the southern US was associated with greater hazard of CHD in this sample of white and black adults in diverse regions of the US.

Check out the report from Circulation at http://circ.ahajournals.org/co....ntent/early/2015/07/ evidence that fried food raises heart attack risk. Southern Dietary Pattern is Associated with Hazard of Acute Coronary Heart Disease in the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) Study. Southern diet linked to big increase in heart disease. Stroke Rounds: Southern-Style Diet Is Least Healthy. Southern Diet Linked to Heart Disease. Southern U.S. diet tied to heart disease.

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