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Spanish heart risk study challenges image of healthy Mediterranean diet and lifestyle
Date:1/10/2011

risen at an alarming rate over the last 20 years and this is likely to cause future increases in bad health and death due to cardiovascular disease."

Other key findings of the study include:

  • Men had a higher prevalence of smoking, high blood pressure, high levels of fatty molecules and impaired fasting glucose - which can lead to diabetes - than women.

  • Women were more likely to demonstrate a higher prevalence of physical inactivity and abdominal obesity. Young female smokers with sedentary lifestyles were a particular concern.

  • Obesity increased with age - 84 per cent of people over 50 were overweight or obese and 82 per cent had abdominal obesity, compared with 61 per cent and 56 per cent for the study as a whole.

"Our findings are cause for concern" says Dr Gmez-Huelgas. "We found high rates of obesity, abnormal lipid and fat levels and hypertension in the study group. And the high rates of smoking and sedentary lifestyles in young women raises fears for a large increase in cardiovascular deaths in this group in the near future. There are also issues around public health messages for people with lower education levels who tend to have higher risk factors.

"The drive to reduce cardiovascular disease by tackling these risk factors poses a real challenge for the healthcare profession. We hope that our findings can help to reduce risk factors among the most vulnerable sections of the community."

"The study by Dr Gmez-Huelgas and colleagues challenges the belief that cardiovascular disease, one of the fastest growing diseases in the developing world, is more likely to affect the chilly north than the sunny south" says Dr Anthony Wierzbicki, a London-based Consultant in Metabolic Medicine.

"In fact, the risk levels found in this study show parallels with the USA and are worse than those reported by recent UK studies.

"The myth that the Mediterranean diet and lifes
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Contact: Annette Whibley
wizard.media@virgin.net
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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