American Heart Association

American Heart Association

Source:

Wang F, et al. Presentation RF160. Presented at: American Heart Association Scientific Sessions; Nov. 13-15, 2021 (virtual meeting).

Disclosures: Wang reports no relevant financial disclosures.
November 13, 2021
2 min read
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Simple food swaps may lower stroke risk

Source:

Wang F, et al. Presentation RF160. Presented at: American Heart Association Scientific Sessions; Nov. 13-15, 2021 (virtual meeting).

Disclosures: Wang reports no relevant financial disclosures.
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Higher intake of vegetable fat, polyunsaturated fat and vegetable oil could reduce risk for stroke among healthy adults, whereas high intake of nondairy animal fat, total red meat and processed red meat may drive stroke risk, data show.

In an analysis of more than 117,000 health care professionals over 27 years, researchers found adults who consumed the highest amount of vegetable fat and polyunsaturated fat had a 12% reduced stroke risk compared with those who consumed the lowest amount.

Graphical depiction of data presented in article
Data were derived from Wang F, et al. Presentation RF160. Presented at: American Heart Association Scientific Sessions; Nov. 13-15, 2021 (virtual meeting).

“Many studies have examined different types of fat and stroke risk, but the results are still inconsistent,” Fenglei Wang, PhD, research fellow in the department of nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told Healio. “Additionally, few studies examined the association for fat from different food sources.”

Wang and colleagues analyzed data from 73,867 women participating in the Nurses’ Health Study (1984-2016) and 43,269 men participating in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (1986-2016) without CVD or cancer at baseline. Researchers assessed dietary fat intake, categorized by source and type, via food-frequency questionnaires. Cox proportional hazards models were used to assess the association between fat intake and stroke risk.

During 3,168,151 person-years of follow-up, 6,189 incident stroke events occurred, including 2,967 ischemic and 814 hemorrhagic events.

Comparing extreme quintiles of fat consumption, researchers found a high intake of vegetable fat reduced total stroke risk by 12% (HR = 0.88; 95% CI, 0.81-0.96; P for trend < .001), as did consumption of polyunsaturated fat (HR = 0.88; 95% CI, 0.8-0.96; P for trend = .002) compared with low consumption. High nondairy animal fat consumption was associated with increased stroke risk compared with low consumption (HR = 1.16; 95% CI, 1.05-1.29; P for trend < .001).

In analyses stratified by stroke type, similar associations emerged for ischemic stroke, but only the positive association of nondairy animal fat was observed for hemorrhagic stroke.

Researchers also found one serving of vegetable oil per day could reduce total stroke risk by 9% (HR = 0.91; 95% CI, 0.84-0.98); however, the finding was attenuated after adjusting for vegetable fat or polyunsaturated fat.

Similarly, researchers observed higher stroke risk among participants in the highest quintiles of total red meat consumption (HR = 1.08; 95% CI, 1.02-1.13) and processed red meat consumption (HR = 1.12; 95% CI, 1.03-1.23); however, adjusting for nondairy animal fat rendered those associations nonsignificant.

“One result that surprised us was when we analyzed animal fat as a whole, not differentiating between dairy and nondairy animal fat, we did not observe a significant association [with stroke risk],” Wang told Healio. “Nondairy fat — but not dairy fat — was significantly associated with a lower stroke risk.”

The researchers said the data highlight the importance of considering fat sources to reduce risk for stroke.

“Based on our findings, we would recommend the general public reduce consumption of red and processed meat, minimize fatty parts of unprocessed meat if consumed, and replace lard or tallow (beef fat) with nontropical vegetable oils such as olive oil, corn or soybean oils in cooking to lower their stroke risk,” Wang told Healio.

As Healio previously reported, data presented at the American College of Cardiology Scientific Session in 2020 demonstrated ischemic stroke risk was inversely associated with consumption of dietary fiber, fruit and vegetables, and dairy foods such as milk and cheese. The study, which assessed food intake of more than 400,000 European adults, also found higher egg consumption increased the risk for hemorrhagic stroke.