In a new study, researchers found that areas with a higher number of fast-food restaurants have more heart attacks.
The research was conducted by a team from the University of Newcastle, Callaghan, Australia.
Ischemic heart disease, including heart attack, is one of the leading causes of death worldwide.
It is known that eating fast foods is linked to a higher likelihood of fatal and nonfatal heart attacks.
Despite this, there is rapid growth in the purchase and availability of fast food. This highlights the need to explore the role of food availability in the probability of having a heart attack.
Previous studies have shown that the poor nutrition, high salt and saturated fat in fast food is connected to heart disease, yet the role of greater access to these restaurants has been less clear
In the study, the team examined data from 3,070 patients admitted to hospital with a heart attack in the Hunter Region between 2011 to 2013.
The database contained each patient’s home postcode, allowing the researchers to analyze their surrounding fast food environment.
The team found people who lived in areas with more fast-food restaurants have more heart attacks.
They also found that for every additional fast food outlet, there were four additional heart attacks per 100,000 people each year.
The results emphasize the importance of the food environment as a potential contributor to health.
The team says the link with poor health adds a community lens to cardiovascular disease management and stresses the need to target this issue in future public health promotion strategies and legislation.
In addition to regulating the location and density of fast food outlets, local areas should ensure good access to supermarkets with healthy food.
One author of the study is Tarunpreet Saluja of the University of Newcastle.
The study was presented at CSANZ 2019.
Copyright © 2019 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.