Mostly meat, high protein diet linked to heart failure in older women.


November 14, 2016 Categories: Heart News, Scientific Conferences & Meetings

Study Highlights:

Postmenopausal women who follow a high-protein diet could be at higher risk of heart failure, especially if most of their protein comes from meat.
Researchers combined dietary self-reports with biomarkers to determine actual dietary protein intake as self-reporting alone is often inaccurate.
Embargoed until 8 a.m. CT/ 9 a.m. ET, Monday, Nov. 14, 2016

NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 14, 2016 — Women over the age of 50 who follow a high-protein diet could be at higher risk for heart failure, especially if much of their protein comes from meat, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2016.

Researchers evaluated the self-reported daily diets of 103,878 women between the ages of 50 and 79 years, from 1993 to 1998. A total of 1,711 women developed heart failure over the study period. The rate of heart failure for women with higher total dietary protein intake was significantly higher compared to the women who ate less protein daily or got more of their protein from vegetables.

While women who ate higher amounts of vegetable protein appeared to have less heart failure, the association was not significant when adjusted for body mass.

“Higher calibrated total dietary protein intake appears to be associated with substantially increased heart failure risk while vegetable protein intake appears to be protective, although additional studies are needed to further explore this potential association,” said Mohamad Firas Barbour, M.D., study author and internist at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, in Pawtucket.

The findings were true regardless of age, race or ethnicity, level of education, or if the women had high blood pressure (2.9 percent), diabetes (8.3 percent), coronary artery disease (7.1 percent), anemia (3.4 percent), or atrial fibrillation (4.9 percent).

The subjects were all participants in the Women’s Health Initiative, an ongoing, long-term national dietary survey investigating strategies for reducing heart disease, breast and colorectal cancer, and osteoporosis.

Researchers said other studies have found a link between increased protein from meat and cardiovascular risk in women.

“Our findings should be interpreted with caution, but it appears that following a high-protein diet may increase heart failure risk,” Barbour

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