(HealthDay News) — Higher intake of nondairy animal fat is associated with increased total risk of stroke, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2021, held virtually from Nov. 13 to 15.

Fenglei Wang, PhD, from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues followed 73,867 women and 43,269 men free of cardiovascular disease and cancer at baseline to examine the association between total fat, different types of fat, and fat from various sources with the risk of stroke.

The researchers identified 6189 incident stroke events during 3,168,151 person-years of follow-up. There was an association for high intake of vegetable fat or polyunsaturated fat with lower total risk of stroke (hazard ratio comparing extreme quintiles, 0.88 and 0.88, respectively) while high nondairy animal fat intake was associated with increased risk (hazard ratio, 1.16). Similar associations were seen for ischemic stroke, while for hemorrhagic stroke, only the positive association of nondairy animal fat intake was observed. Higher intake of vegetable oil was associated with lower total stroke risk (hazard ratio per 1 serving/day, 0.91), but this association was attenuated after adjustment for vegetable fat or polyunsaturated fat intake. Associations of total red meat and processed red meat intakes with higher total stroke risk were no longer statistically significant after adjustment for nondairy animal fat intake.


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“Our findings indicate the type of fat and different food sources of fat are more important than the total amount of dietary fat in the prevention of cardiovascular disease including stroke,” Wang said in a statement.

One author disclosed being an expert witness for a law firm.

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