The study published in the European Heart Journal found that areas having a higher number of fast-food restaurants have more heart attacks. The research was present at CSANZ 2019 which took place on Aug 8 to 11 in Adelaide, Australia.
The study also found that for every additional fast food outlet, there were four additional heart attacks per 100,000 people each year.
Indian-origin researcher Tarunpreet Saluja from the University of Newcastle in Australia.said: "The findings were consistent across rural and metropolitan areas of New South Wales and after adjusting for age, obesity, high blood lipids, high blood pressure, smoking status, and diabetes. The results emphasize the importance of the food environment as a potential contributor towards health."
"Ischaemic heart disease, including heart attack, is one of the leading causes of death worldwide," added Mr. Saluja.
This retrospective cohort study included 3,070 patients admitted to hospital with a heart attack between 2011 and 2013. The researchers recorded the total number of outlets within each local government area and compared different areas to analyze the association between the density of fast-food restaurants and the incidence of a heart attack.
"Previous studies have shown that the poor nutritional value, 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," said Mr. Saluja.
"This study highlights the impact of the food environment on health. In addition to regulating the location and density of fast food outlets, local areas should ensure good access to supermarkets with healthy food," said Jeroen Bax, Professor at the Leiden University in the Netherlands.
(With inputs from European Society of Cardiology)