#Atkins style diet harmful to #heart-health of women

A recent study published in the BMJ showed that women are more likely (by 28%) to develop cardiovascular disease (CVD), such as heart disease and stroke, if they regularly consume a low carbohydrate, high protein diet.

The Atkins type diet is very poular for weight loss, particularly among women and up to now, the long term affects of this type of diet has not been clear. The researchers conducted a study of more than 43,000 Swedish women aged 30-49 and followed them for 15 years. Their diet was scored according to how low carbohydrate-high protein it was; a score of 2-19 represented a high intake of carbohydrates and low intake of protein, and a score of 20 represented a low intake of carbohydrates and high intake of protein.

The researchers took into account factors, such as alcohol use, smoking, overall level of activity, diagnosis of hypertension, and saturated/unsaturated fat intake, all of which were likely to influence the results. According to the researchers, the higher the score, the more likely the participant was to experience a cardiovascular event. They found that risk of cardiovascular disease increased by:

* 13% for women who scored 7 to 9

* 23% for those who scored 10 to 12

* 54% for women who scored 13 to 15

* 60% for those who scored 16+


This clearly shows an increase in CVD risk with increasing protein and lowering of carbohydrate intake.

28 Jun 2012, online BMJ


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