Unfresh fruits linked to signs of early heart disease

Emobileclinic Researchers Corner 



 The American Heart Association Journal of circulation in a recent publication shows that inability to have access to nearby stores selling fresh food may increase residents’ risk of developing the signs of early heart disease. The above submission stemmed from research led by Jeffrey Wing  that focused on exploring how the limited availability of recreational facilities, healthy food stores, neighborhood walk-ability, and social environments may contribute to the early stages of atherosclerosis.

About 5,950 adults enrolled in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) over a 12 year follow-up period. The team found that the lack of healthy food stores may help explain why people in these neighborhoods have more heart disease, it is believe that greater access to healthier foods may have promoted healthier diets and, in turn, less coronary plaque formation.

Previous studies found that limited fresh food choices and/or numerous fast food restaurants in poorer neighborhoods were linked to unhealthy diets. Residents in these neighborhoods have a greater likelihood of early atherosclerosis (a disease that hardens arteries and underlies many types of heart disease), but no studies have examined which factors might cause this.

The present study, coronary artery calcium measured by a CT scan was used to detect the amount of atherosclerosis in a person’s arteries. All participants had CT scan at the commencement of the study. About 86% of MESA participants studied had coronary artery calcium readings at three different times, with an average of 3.5 years between measurements. After the researchers excluded other features in these communities, including recreational centers, they found that healthy food stores within one mile of their home was the only significant factor that reduced or slowed the progression of calcium buildup in coronary arteries according to Ella August, co-lead author who initiated the study. 

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The results point to a need for greater awareness of the potential health threat posed by the scarcity of healthy grocery options in certain neighborhoods.” The team is of the opinion that further studies will be needed to examine the impact of specific interventions, such as promoting the location of healthy food stores and how neighborhood characteristics may interact with individual risk factors and genetic predispositions. MESA is an ongoing study sponsored by the National Heart and Lung Institute of the National Institutes of Health which has provided data for more than 1,000 published papers on a range of health issues in addition to heart disease.

It is recommended by the American Heart Association that one needs to have a hearthealthy diet which is high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, beans, nuts, low-fat dairy, skinless poultry and fish. It calls for the intake of foods with low saturated fats and sodium as well as reducing sugars and red meats consumptions in order to have a healthy heart. 







American Heart Association Journal of Crculation


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