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Wednesday, December 24, 1997 Published at 09:24 GMT


Fat may decrease the risk of stroke

A team of American scientists has suggested - contrary to common scientific opinion - that fatty food, normally associated with a high risk of heart disease, might reduce the chances of having a stroke.

But the researchers, from Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care in Boston, have urged caution about the findings of their study.

The problem is that the work seems to contradict the findings of so many other studies, and the scientists are going over their work to look for flaws.

The new study, published in the journal of the American Heart Association, says that for every 3% increase in total fat consumption, there is a 15% decrease in the risk of a stroke, as long as the subject is not obese.

The figures are based on several years' assessments of the dietary intake and the risk of stroke of a group of men aged over 45.

Most nutritionists would argue the opposite - that the risk of stroke increases with a diet that is high in saturated fats.

The scientists did confirm a link between obesity and the risk of stroke, but found that consumption of saturated fats such as red meat did not increase the risk.

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