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Reuters Medical News - for the Professional
Whole-Grain Foods Linked to Lower
Ischemic Stroke Risk in Women

WESTPORT, CT (Reuters Health) Sept 27 - In women, higher intake of whole-grain foods is independently associated with a significant decrease in the risk of ischemic stroke, according to data from the Nurses' Health Study. Results are published in the September 27th issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.

Dr. Simin Liu, of Harvard Medical School, in Boston, and colleagues examined dietary data on the 75,521 women in the prospective study and compared the subject's intake of whole grain to risk of ischemic stroke.

"We found," Dr. Liu told Reuters Health, "that there was a fairly strong and statistically significant inverse association between intake of whole grain and risk of ischemic stroke. Comparing the two extreme quintiles of whole-grain intake we found that the risk of stroke was reduced by 30% to 40%."

As reported earlier this month by Reuters Health, Dr. Liu and colleagues also demonstrated, in the same cohort, that whole-grain intake is associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.

"Whole grains," Dr. Liu stressed, "not only contain many micronutrients, vital chemicals, antioxidants, B vitamins, folic and magnesium--all of which are beneficial nutrients that might have a protective effect--but the structure of whole grains can lower glucose and insulin response, which can, over the long-run, reduce the risk of ischemic stroke."

To reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke, Dr. Liu suggested, refined grain products in the diet should be replaced with whole-grain products. Because total grain intake was not associated with the risk of stroke, Dr. Liu said, "one should not focus on the total intake of carbohydrates but one should pay attention to the types of carbohydrates in the diet."

JAMA 2000;284:1534-1540.

Reuters Copyright 2000 Reuters Ltd. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.


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