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Study blames diet for heart disease

Posted - Dec. 1, 2004 at 3:20 p.m.



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PORTLAND, Ore., Dec 01, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A study by the Oregon Health and Science University cites diet as a major factor contributing to the high rate of heart disease in Central and Eastern Europe.

The study says foods low in folate and carotenoids may be to blame for the cardiovascular problems among both men and women there, especially compared with people in Western Europe, the United States, Mediterranean nations and Asian countries.

Folate is found in foods such as orange juice, avocados, spinach and fortified grain products, while apricots, broccoli, carrots, spinach and sweet potatoes are among the sources of carotenoids.

The researchers studied "coronary mortality" and diets of people in nearly 20 countries. They found substantially higher death rates from cardiac disease in Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania and the Russian Federation than in Greece, Japan, France and Spain.

The researchers said the toll from sudden death is particularly striking in men aged 30 to 50 years in Central and Eastern Europe and is likely the result of a combination of factors. "Still, the diets in these countries that are high in pathogenic dietary factors and low in protective dietary factors ... may help explain the very high death rate from coronary disease," they said.

The study is published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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