AHA: Cocoa May Reduce Risk of Hemorrhagic Stroke

In French women, those with the highest intake found to have a lower risk
By Rick Ansorge
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, March 4 (HealthDay News) -- Increased cocoa intake may be associated with a significantly decreased risk of hemorrhagic stroke, according to research presented this week at the American Heart Association's joint conference of the Council on Epidemiology and Prevention and the Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism, held from March 2 to 5 in San Francisco.

Martin Lajous, M.D., of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues studied 4,639 French women who were free of cardiovascular disease in 1993, including 493 who subsequently suffered cardiovascular events (200 heart attacks and 293 strokes).

After comparing women with the highest quartile of cocoa intake (median, 9.1 g/day) and those with the lowest intake (median, 0.1 g/day), the researchers found that cocoa intake was not significantly associated with incident cardiovascular disease, heart attack, or total stroke (relative risks, 1.06, 1.37, and 0.88, respectively); however, they found that cocoa consumption was inversely associated with hemorrhagic stroke (relative risk, 0.42).

"The inverse association with hemorrhagic stroke is intriguing and warrants further investigation in other cohorts," the authors conclude.

Abstract No. P179
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