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Diet Accounts for One-Third of Myocardial Infarction Risk

A diet high in fruit and vegetables can reduce risk

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 22 (HealthDay News) -- An unhealthy diet accounts for approximately 30 percent of the population-attributable risk of myocardial infarction, according to a report published online Oct. 20 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Romaina Iqbal, Ph.D., of McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and colleagues conducted a study involving 5,761 cases and 10,646 controls drawn from the 52-country INTERHEART case-control study. Three major dietary patterns were identified, namely Asian, comprising high intake of tofu, soy and other sauces; Western, which is high in fried foods, salty snacks, eggs and meat; and prudent, which is high in fruit and vegetables.

There was an inverse association between the prudent diet and acute myocardial infarction, while there was a weak association between the Western diet and increased risk of acute myocardial infarction, and the Asian diet did not appear to influence risk either way, the study findings showed. Across all the regions of the world, intake of salty snacks and fried foods was positively associated with acute myocardial infarction, the researchers found.

"Increased consumption of fruits and vegetables and reduced intake of fried foods, probably related to the type of fat used for frying and salty snacks, is likely to reduce the risk of acute myocardial infarction in all regions of the world," the authors write.

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