Study: Fried Food Intake Linked to Heightened Serious Heart Disease, Stroke Risk

The study authors noted that although the Western diet does not promote good cardiovascular health, it is not clear exactly what contribution fried food might make to the risks of serious heart disease and stroke.

A study published online in the journal Heart found that fried food intake is linked to a heightened risk of major heart disease and stroke, with the risk rising with each additional weekly serving of 114 grams.

The study authors noted that although the Western diet does not promote good cardiovascular health, it is not clear exactly what contribution fried food might make to the risks of serious heart disease and stroke.

The researchers searched databases for any relevant studies published up to April 2020, finding 19 studies and pooling data from 17 of them. The studies included 562,445 participants and 36,727 major cardiovascular events, such as a heart attack or stroke, which allowed the study authors to assess cardiovascular disease risk.

They then pooled the data from 6 studies that involved 754,873 participants and 85,906 deaths over an average monitoring period of 9.5 years to assess the potential link between fried food consumption and deaths from cardiovascular disease from any cause.

The analysis showed that compared with the lowest category of weekly fried food consumption, the highest was associated with a 28% heightened risk of major cardiovascular events, a 22% heightened risk of coronary heart disease, and 37% heightened risk of heart failure.

The associations held true when stratified by various study and participant characteristics, and a linear association was found between fried food consumption and major cardiovascular events, coronary heart disease, and heart failure, according to the study authors. The risks increased by 3%, 2%, and 12%, respectively, together with each additional weekly serving of 114 grams.

Several previous studies included only 1 type of fried food, such as fried fish, potatoes, or snacks, rather than total fried food intake, which may have underestimated the associations found, the study authors noted.

No associations were found for deaths from cardiovascular disease or from any cause, but this might be because of the relatively small numbers involved. In addition, the design of the included studies varied considerably, added to which, they all relied on memory. These factors should be taken into consideration when interpreting the results, according to the study authors.

The study authors also noted that how exactly fried foods might influence the development of cardiovascular disease is not entirely clear, but this study helps to suggest other possible explanations.

REFERENCE

Fried food intake linked to heightened serious heart disease and stroke risk. BMJ. https://www.bmj.com/company/newsroom/fried-food-intake-linked-to-heightened-serious-heart-disease-and-stroke-risk/. Published January 18, 2021. Accessed January 19, 2021.