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Eating heart healthy means lower risk of heart attack - study

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By David Liu PHD

Tuesday July 18, 2012 (foodconsumer.org) -- Eating a heart healthy diet and avoiding the typical western diet may hep cut risk of myocardial infarction or heart attack significantly, according to a new study in the June 28, 2012 issue of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

A plant-food based diet has been already known to be able to stop progression of coronary heart disease or even reverse the disease without resorting to any help from the concentional medicine, according to Dr. T Colin Campbell, a Cornell University nutrition professor.

The study led by I.J. Hansen_Krone of  University of Tromsø, 9037 in Tromsø, Norway and colleagues  found men and women who had high intake of fish, fruit and vegetables, and polyunsaturated fat were 23 percent less likely to suffer heart attack or myocardial infarction, compared to those who had lower intake.

For the study, the researchers followed 18,062 aged 25 to 69 who enrolled in the fourth Tromsø study in 1994 and 1995. During the follow-up from the enrollment through Dec. 2005, 518 cases of heart attack and 172 cases of venous thromboembolism were identified.

Myocardial infarction or acute myocardial infarction, commonly known as a heart attack, occurs when blood supply to a part of the heart is interrupted, causing heart cells to die. This happens most commonly due to occlusion (blockage) of a coronary artery following the rupture of a vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque, wikipedia states.

Venous thromboembolism refers to both deep vein thrombosis (a blood clot that forms within a vein) and life-threatening pulmonary embolism.

The researchers found the association between high intake of fish, fruit, vegetables and polyunsaturated fat and risk of heart attack was particularly stronger among obese individuals. The risk reduction was 38 percent in those who had high intake of a heart healthy diet.

However, high intake of fish, fruit, vegetables and polyunsaturated fat was not associated with risk of venous thromboembolism.

The researchers concluded "a heart healthy dietary pattern is associated with moderately reduced risk of MI (myocardial infarction), but not related to risk of VTE  (venous thromboembolism)."

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