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Low-Carb, High-Protein Diet Linked to Increased CV Risk in Women
Women who regularly follow a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet face increased risk for cardiovascular disease, according to a prospective, observational study in BMJ.
Some 43,000 Swedish women, aged 30 to 49 and without previous cardiovascular disease, completed questionnaires that assessed their habitual dietary patterns. During roughly 16 years' follow-up, 1270 CV events occurred.
After adjustment for confounders such as BMI, smoking status, physical activity, and saturated fat intake, the risk for CV events increased significantly as carbohydrate intake decreased and protein intake increased. In particular, for each 2-unit increase in a low-carb, high-protein score (on a scale of 2 to 20), women had a 5% increase in CV risk.
Editorialists conclude: "The short term benefits of low carbohydrate-high protein diets for weight loss that have made these diets appealing seem irrelevant in the face of increasing evidence of higher morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular diseases in the long term."
BMJ article (Free)
BMJ editorial (Subscription required)
Background: Journal Watch General Medicine summary of 2006 study showing no increase in heart risk with low-carb diets (Your Journal Watch registration required)
Published in Physician's First Watch June 27, 2012
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