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Grains

Whole Grains vs. Refined Grains: Preventing Early-Onset Heart Disease

By Jonathan Springston, Editor, Relias Media

Researchers have found eating more refined grains can lead to a higher risk of developing premature coronary artery disease (PCAD).

Investigators in Iran recruited 2,099 patients with PCAD from various medical facilities across the country. Eligible women younger than age 70 years and men younger than age 60 years had undergone coronary angiography. Researchers included 1,168 patients with normal coronary arteries in the control group. In the case group, there were 1,369 patients with CAD and obstruction equal to or above 75% in at least a single coronary artery or greater than or higher than 50% in the left main coronary artery.

Subjects shared dietary traits and habits through food frequency questionnaires. Researchers were searching for possible associations between grain intake and the risk of PCAD in those who had not been diagnosed with heart disease. After adjusting for confounders, investigators noted those who ate more refined grains were at a higher risk for PCAD, while those who consumed more whole grains were at a lower risk.

“As more studies demonstrate an increase in refined grains consumption globally, as well as the impact on overall health, it is important that we find ways to encourage and educate people on the benefits of whole grain consumption,” said Mohammad Amin Khajavi Gaskarei, MD, of the Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Center and Cardiovascular Research Institute at Isfahan University of Medical Sciences in Isfahan, Iran. “Tactics to consider include teaching improved dietary choices in schools and other public places in simple language the general population can understand, as well as on television programs and by continuing to do high level research that is presented at medical conferences and published in medical journals. Clinicians must also be having these conversations with each other and their patients.”

American guidelines call for consuming more grains, along with a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and legumes, to prevent heart disease. Researchers were scheduled to present their whole grains vs. refined grains data later this week at the American College of Cardiology Middle East 2022 Together with the 13th Emirates Cardiac Society Congress in Dubai.

For more on this and related subjects, be sure to read the latest issues of Clinical Cardiology Alert, Integrative Medicine Alert, and Internal Medicine Alert.