High Fat Diet Linked to Stroke in Women over 50

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A new study shows high fat diets can significantly increase the risk of stroke in women over 50.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill found that women who ate large amounts of unhealthy fat had a 44 percent higher risk of having an ischemic stroke, which is caused by blood clots.

They also found women who ate trans fat had a 30 percent greater risk.

"I think our findings support the American Heart Association recommendations for keeping trans fat intake at less than 1 percent of energy (calories)," study senior author Dr. Ka He said in a statement.

Dr. Emil L. Matarese of St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne, Pa. cautioned that while the study focused on postmenopausal women, younger women are also at risk.

"You can be at risk for stroke at any age, so this is important not just for the postmenopausal women but for the younger woman, for the teenage woman, and for kids," Matarese said.

Meanwhile, one doctor who reviewed the study says the findings prove what's bad for the heart is also bad for the brain.

The report, which studied 87,230 women 50-79 over the course of 7.6 years, was presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference in San Antonio.

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