Banning trans fats in NY led to fewer heart attacks, strokes

Apr 14, 2017, 12:15
Banning trans fats in NY led to fewer heart attacks, strokes

We compared hospitalization for heart attacks and stroke from 2002 through 2013 in counties that did and did not have restrictions.

Taking artificial trans fats off the menu reduces hospitalizations for heart attack and stroke, suggests a study that examined what happened after several areas in NY restricted the fats' use.

'It is a pretty substantial decline, ' said lead author Brandt, a clinical fellow in cardiovascular medicine at Yale School of Medicine.

In 2018, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration ban on partially hydrogenated oil in foods will almost eliminate dietary trans fats nationwide.

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But, unlike Mike Bloomberg's attempted crackdown on sugary drinks, the trans-fat ban was soon accepted by the public.

Under the Bloomberg administration, the Big Apple in 2006 banned trans fats in restaurants, which often used the grease for french fries and other dishes. Our results show the potential benefit of a more comprehensive restriction on the use of trans fats, including the FDA's restriction on partially hydrogenated oils that starts in 2018. Similarly, there were two counties with smaller metropolitan areas ( 1 million people) banning trans fats and 17 counties with smaller cities not having any restrictions.

Trans fats raise bad cholesterol levels and lower good cholesterol levels, according to the American Heart Association, and FDA withdrew its approval for consumption of the oils in 2015.

New York City limited the use of trans fats starting in July 2007.

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Rates of heart attack and stroke were already declining in NY state before the trans fat restrictions, the study authors noted.

Southern fried chicken using a soy bean oil that doesn't contain trans fats in New York's Harlem neighborhood.

At least three years after the artificial trans fats restrictions took effect, admission rates for heart attacks and strokes combined dropped an additional 6.2 percent among residents of restricted counties versus non-restricted counties. They compared the health data of people living in counties that had the ban with that of the people not affected by the ban.

There are likely to be further measurable differences in heart attack and stroke rates, especially among younger age groups, who may benefit by spending an even longer portion of their lives without trans fat in their diets, Brandt said. As a result, these new restrictions would almost eliminate trans fat from foods, restaurants, and grocery stores throughout the country.

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