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25-09-2012 | Cardiology | Article

Eat fruit and veggies to prevent heart attack, women told


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medwireNews: A diet that is high in antioxidants can reduce the risk for myocardial infarction (MI) in women, a study suggests.

The analysis of 1114 incident cases of MI in Sweden revealed that women who consumed almost 7.0 servings per day of fruit and vegetables on average had a 20% lower risk for MI than those who consumed 2.4 servings per day of fruit and vegetables.

Co-author Susanne Rautiainen (Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden) told medwireNews: "Middle-aged and elderly women who are healthy with regard to not having history of cardiovascular disease and diabetes may decrease their risk of MI by having a diet high in total antioxidant capacity.

"A diet high in total antioxidant capacity was in this study characterized by fruits, vegetables, coffee and whole grains etc."

The analysis of 32,561 women showed that those in the highest quintile of median total antioxidant intake (18,021 µmol Trolox equivalents per day), as assessed using the oxygen radical absorbance capacity assay, had a threefold higher intake of fruit consumption than women in the lowest quintile (8537 µmol Trolox equivalents per day).

They also had a 15% higher intake of whole grains, a 34% higher intake of coffee, and a 38% higher intake of chocolate than women in the lowest quintile.

In addition, women in the highest quintile of median total antioxidant intake had a 27% lower intake of saturated fatty acids and 19% lower intake of monounsaturated fatty acids than women in the lowest quintile.

Subgroup analysis revealed that the association between antioxidant intake and MI risk was stronger in women older than 65 years, those with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 25 kg/m2, and current smokers in the highest quintile than the lowest, at respective odds ratios of 0.74, 0.76, and 0.66.

However, there were no significant interactions between age, BMI, or smoking and dietary total antioxidant intake, the authors note.

Rautiainen pointed out that as the women included in the study were free from cardiovascular disease and diabetes at baseline, it is not possible to evaluate the potential impact of high total antioxidant capacity in the diet on comorbidities.

medwireNews ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2012

By Piriya Mahendra, medwireNews Reporter

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