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Can a ban on trans-fats prevent cardiovascular events?

A new study has identified that hospital admissions for myocardial infarction were lower in areas where trans-fats were restricted.

Efforts are underway globally to restrict consumption of trans-fats. In Europe, the World Health Organization is mandated to work with countries to develop and implement national policies to ban or virtually eliminate trans-fats from the food supply. The US Food and Drug Administration will introduce nationwide restrictions from 2018.

Trans-fatty acids (TFAs) primarily enter the diet via partially hydrogenated oils used in baked goods and fried food. Between 2007 and 2011, TFA restrictions were introduced in 11 New York State (NYS) counties. In 2006, the year before the first restrictions were implemented, there were 8.4 million adults in highly urban counties with TFA restrictions and 3.3 million adults in highly urban counties without restrictions.

A new study, examining the impacts of these restrictions, has reported that the populations with TFA restrictions experienced fewer cardiovascular events compared with those without restrictions. Three or more years after restriction implementation in the 11 counties, the population with TFA restrictions experienced a significant additional decline in myocardial infarction and stroke events combined (-6.2 per cent) and heart attack (-7.8 per cent), and a nonsignificant decline in stroke (-3.6 per cent) compared with the nonrestriction populations.

The findings are published in JAMA Cardiology .

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