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Can berries cut heart attack risk for women?

Posted by: Colleen Stoxen Updated: January 14, 2013 - 3:53 PM

Eating three or more servings of blueberries and strawberries each week may help reduce a woman's risk of heart attack, a large new study suggests.

The study included nearly 94,000 young and middle-aged women who took part in the Nurses' Health Study II. The women completed questionnaires about their diet every four years for 18 years.

During the study period, 405 participants had heart attacks. Women who ate the most blueberries and strawberries were 32 percent less likely to have a heart attack, compared to women who ate berries once a month or less. This held true even among women who ate a diet rich in other fruits and vegetables.

This benefit was independent of other heart risk factors such as advancing age, high blood pressure, family history of heart attack, body mass index, exercise, smoking, and caffeine and alcohol intake. The findings appear online today in the journal Circulation.

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