AAN: Chocolate Consumption Linked to Lower Stroke Risk

Higher flavonoid intake from chocolate may lower risk of stroke and stroke-related mortality
By Rick Ansorge
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Some evidence suggests that higher flavonoid intake from chocolate may be associated with a lower risk of stroke and stroke-related mortality, according to research released Feb. 11 in advance of the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, to be held from April 10 to 17 in Toronto.

Sarah Sahib, of McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, and colleagues reviewed three relevant prospective cohort studies published between 2001 and 2009.

The researchers found that the studies produced mixed results, with one study showing no association between flavonoid intake consisting of 3 percent catechin intake from chocolate with stroke or death (relative risk, 0.92). A second study, however, found that once-weekly chocolate consumption was associated with a reduced risk of incident stroke (relative risk, 0.78), while a third study suggested that weekly chocolate consumption was associated with a reduced risk of stroke mortality (hazard ratio, 0.54).

"Further prospective studies are needed to assess whether the benefit of chocolate-based flavonoid consumption truly lowers stroke risk, or whether the apparent benefit is biased by a healthy user effect," the authors conclude.

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