A Woman's Heart
Amazing new research was published in the October 2007 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. This new study shows that women who eat a healthy diet, drink moderate amounts of alcohol, are physically active, maintain a healthy weight and do not smoke have a significantly reduced risk of heart attack - a reduced risk of up to 92 percent!
Dr. Agneta Akesson, Ph.D., M.P.H., of the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, and colleagues identified dietary patterns in 24,444 postmenopausal women by analyzing food frequency questionnaires, on which the women supplied information about how often they ate 96 common foods.
The low-risk lifestyle, characterized by a high intake of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, fish and legumes, in combination with moderate alcohol consumption, not smoking, maintaining the proper weight and being physically active was associated with 92 percent decreased risk compared with findings in women without any low-risk diet and lifestyle factors.
Several components of fruits, vegetables and whole grains such as fiber, antioxidant vitamins and minerals, have been associated with a reduced risk for coronary heart disease, the researchers note. In addition, previous studies have found beneficial effects of small amounts of alcohol in preventing the buildup of plaque in the arteries, which could help prevent heart attacks. "The combined benefit of diet, lifestyle, and healthy body weight may prevent more than three of four cases of heart attack in our study population," Dr. Akesson and colleagues report.