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Southern Diet Can Cause Heart Attack

The new study found eating a traditional Southern Diet can make you 46% more likely to die from sudden cardiac death. That is when the heart suddenly stops more than people who don’t often eat those foods.

According to the American Heart Association, Sudden cardiac death is a common cause of death and accounted for 1 in every 7.5 deaths in the United States in 2016 or nearly 367,000 deaths. When this type of heart attack occurs, the AHA says, death typically comes within an hour.Researchers found people who most closely followed the traditional Mediterranean diet had a 26% lower risk of sudden cardiac death than people who rarely ate the Mediterranean way. However, this was only true for people with no history of coronary heart disease at the start of the study.

James Shikany, lead author of the study said that improving one’s diet by eating a diet abundant in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish such as the Mediterranean diet and low in fried foods, organ meats and processed meats, characteristics of the Southern Diet pattern, may decrease one’s risk for sudden cardiac death. Shikany is a professor of medicine and associate director for research in the Division of Preventive Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Shikany and his team examined data from some 21,000 people. More than half were from the stroke belt, an area of 11 states in the Southeast where rates of stroke are traditionally high. For this study, those states included North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana.According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who live in the stroke belt are two to four times more likely to die from stroke than in other regions of the country. Old studies showed that people eating a predominately Southern Diet had a higher risk of death from any cause and a greater risk of coronary heart disease.

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