Tak­ing choco­late to heart

A lon­gi­tu­di­nal study sug­gests choco­late may re­duce car­diac risk. AN­DREW MASTER­SON re­ports.

Cosmos - - Digest -

Want to do some­thing good for your heart? Eat choco­late. Want to do some­thing even bet­ter for your heart? Eat more choco­late.

That’s the slightly sur­pris­ing find­ing of a Har­vard study in the jour­nal Heart from ex­am­in­ing the di­etary habits of 55,500 Danes over a pe­riod of 14 years.

Epi­demi­ol­o­gist El­iz­a­beth Mostof­sky and col­leagues looked at the re­la­tion­ship be­tween choco­late eat­ing and a type of ir­reg­u­lar heart­beat known as atrial fib­ril­la­tion (AF).

Drilling through the data ac­cu­mu­lated for par­tic­i­pants in the Dan­ish Diet, Cancer and Heath Study, the re­searchers found 3,346 cases of AF over a 13-and-a-half year pe­riod.

Co­hort mem­bers were clas­si­fied ac­cord­ing to body-mass in­dex, blood pres­sure and life­style, and asked to es­ti­mate choco­late con­sump­tion.

The re­sults were then ranked against AF fre­quency.

The base­line was set at those who ate less than 28 grams (one ounce) a month. Com­pared to this, peo­ple who en­joyed be­tween 28 and 84 grams a month had a 10% lower AF risk.

Peo­ple who ate 28 grams per week showed a 17% lower risk, while folk who snarfed be­tween 56 and 168 grams a week had a 20% lower risk.

Re­sults were iden­ti­cal for men and women.

“Our study adds to the ac­cu­mu­lat­ing ev­i­dence on the health ben­e­fits of mod­er­ate choco­late in­take and high­lights the im­por­tance of be­hav­ioral fac­tors for po­ten­tially low­er­ing the risk of ar­rhyth­mias,” says lead au­thor El­iz­a­beth Mostof­sky.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.