By Robert Preid
Thursday, August 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) – If you live in a neighborhood full of fast food restaurants, you're more likely to have a heart attack, according to new research.
Heart rates appear to be higher in neighborhoods with more fast food joints, an Australian study found.
For each additional fast food outlet in one neighborhood, there were four additional heart attacks per 100,000 people each year, according to the report.
To reach this conclusion, researchers examined data on nearly 3,100 patients hospitalized with a heart attack in the Australian region between 2011 and 2013.
"The findings were consistent in rural and metropolitan New South Wales and after adjusting for age, obesity, high blood lipids, high blood pressure, smoking status and diabetes. The results underscore the importance of the nutrient environment as a potential contributor to health, "said study author Tarunpreet Saluja of the University of Newcastle in Kalaghan.
"Ischemic heart disease, including heart attack, is one of the leading causes of death worldwide," said Saludja. "Eating fast food is known to be more likely than fatal and non-fatal heart attacks. However, there is rapid growth in the purchase and availability of fast food. This underscores the need to examine the role of food availability with the likelihood of a heart attack, "he said.
"Previous studies have shown that poor nutrition, high levels of salt and saturated fat in fast foods are linked to heart disease, but the role of increased access to these restaurants is less clear," says Salugia at the European Cardiac Society (ESC) ) news.
The results of the study were presented on 11 August at the annual meeting of the Cardiology Society of Australia and New Zealand. Research presented at meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
According to Jeroen Bucks, past president of ESC, "Dealing with heart disease requires individual responsibility and population-based action. This study highlights the impact of the nutritional environment on health. In addition to regulating the location and density of fast food establishments, local areas need provide good access to healthy food supermarkets. "