Heart Failure Higher in Meat-Eating Women Over 50

Researchers find that older women who consume a high-protein diet made up mostly of meat are at highest risk of heart failure.

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New research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions conference last weekend revealed that postmenopausal women who consume a meat-centric diet exhibit a higher risk of heart failure. The study analyzed the diet of 103,878 women between the ages of 50 and 79 from 1993 to 1998 and found that 1,711 of them had developed heart failure. Women with a higher intake of dietary protein from meat had the highest rates of heart failure. While these findings are preliminary, lead author Mohamad Firas Barbour, MD says, “Higher calibrated total dietary protein intake appears to be associated with substantially increased heart failure risk, while vegetable protein intake appears to be protective.” Barbour says the results indicate that heart failure, an ailment that is prevalent in postmenopausal women, can be moderated and prevented by modifying the diet. Meat-centric diets continue to be linked with preventable life-threatening illnesses such as obesity and heart disease, while plant-based diets conversely have been proven to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and promote healthy weight loss.