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Study Finds That Chocolate Consumption Reduces Risk Of Heart Disease In Women

November 8, 2010: 12:43 PM EST

Australian researchers studying the relationship between chocolate intake and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) in women have found that eating chocolate as infrequently as once a week can cut the risk of heart disease by 24 percent. In fact, they found that eating chocolate once a week was just as effective in preventing atherosclerosis as eating it daily. Researchers studied data from a randomized controlled trial of calcium supplement consumption in1,216 older women over ten years. The women were divided into three groups based on frequency of chocolate consumption. They then examined them for plaque buildup in their arteries using ultrasound. Twenty-seven percent of the women who rarely ate chocolate were hospitalized for, or died from, heart attacks or strokes, compared to 20.7 percent of the weekly eaters.

Joshua R. Lewis, BSc, PhD, Richard L. Prince, MD, et al., "Habitual Chocolate Intake and Vascular Disease: A Prospective Study of Clinical Outcomes in Older Women", Archives of Internal Medicine, November 08, 2010, © American Medical Association
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