A new research found that consumption of trans fats can increase the risk of heart attacks. The study found that the reports of heart attacks and strokes are less common among the people living in areas which restrict trans fats in foods, when compared to the people living in areas without any restrictions.
"Our study highlights the power of public policy to impact the cardiovascular health of a population," said the lead author Eric Brandt from Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut, US.
Trans fats or trans fatty acids can be commonly found in the foods like fried foods, chips, crackers and also baked goods. Eating trans fats even minimal amounts is linked to a greater risk of cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of deaths worldwide.
Some communities in United States and most notably New York City, have eliminated the use of trans fats in restaurants and eateries in the recent years. In order to study the impact of trans fats on our body, the researchers have examined the outcomes for people living in the New York counties with and without restrictions.
Using the data from state department of health and census estimates that between the years 2002 and 2013, the researchers focused on hospital admissions for heart attack and strokes found that, three or more years after the restrictions were implemented, people living in the areas with the bans had significantly fewer hospitalizations for heart attack and strokes when compared to the similar urban areas where no limits existed.
The decline of the combined conditions was 6.2 percent, said the study which was published in the journal JAMA Cardiology.
"It is a pretty substantial decline," said Brandt.
"The results are impressive, given that the study focused on trans fatty acid bans in restaurants, as opposed to complete bans that included food bought in stores," added the senior author Tamar S. Polonsky, who is a Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago.
"If we enact a more complete restriction on trans fatty acids, it could mean even more widespread benefits for people," said Polonsky.