Diet and Disease

Wow! Look at the data on heart disease and stroke. Two of the factors (lipid and glucose levels) are heavily influenced by diet as well as blood pressure (to a lesser extent). We look at all three factors when we look at our meal plans, day in and day out.

From the “New England Journal of Medicine”:

‘Successfully controlling high blood pressure, lipids, and glucose levels could potentially reduce coronary heart disease risk by half and stroke risk by three fourths in overweight patients, according to a Lancet study.

Researchers analyzed the results of nearly 100 prospective cohort studies of adults with BMIs over 20.

Over a median follow-up of 13 years, the hazard ratio for coronary heart disease was 1.27 for each 5-unit increase in BMI, and the HR for stroke was 1.18. However, after adjustment for high blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose, the respective HRs fell to 1.15 and 1.04. The authors calculate that 46% of BMI’s excess risk for coronary heart disease and 76% of the excess risk for stroke is mediated by these three metabolic risk factors. Blood pressure was the most significant mediator of the three.

They conclude: “Reliance on control of the metabolic mediators might be only a partial and temporary response to the obesity epidemic. Rather, creative and bold strategies are needed that can curb and reverse rising adiposity.”‘