Eating a diet lacking in healthy foods and/or high in unhealthy foods was linked to more than 400,000 deaths from heart and blood vessel diseases in 2015, according to an analysis presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention / Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health 2017 Scientific Sessions.
The new analysis was designed to pinpoint how diet impacts heart and blood vessel disease; it relied on 1990-2012 data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, food availability data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations as well as other sources.
Looking at U.S. cardiovascular deaths in 2015, researchers found less-than-ideal dietary choices — both a lack of healthier foods and an excess of less healthy foods — played a role in the deaths of an estimated 222,100 men and 193,400 women. Researchers also evaluated the degree to which leading dietary risk factors were linked to cardiovascular disease deaths:
- low intake of nuts and seeds (11.6 percent);
- low intake of vegetables (11.5 percent);
- low intake of whole grains (10.4 percent); and
- excess salt (9 percent).
The team’s systematic approach in quantifying how diet can contribute heart disease deaths, and in defining the healthiest diet to prevent it, are the research’s key strengths, Afshin said.
Afshin’s co-author is Patrick Sur, B.A., for the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2015 Risk Collaborators.
Source: American Heart Association
Image credit : American Heart Association