It was found by the researchers that people who fasted regularly had a 58 percent lower risk of coronary disease compared with those who said they did not fast.
The study showed only an association between fasting and better heart health, which means it’s possible that fasting may not have a direct effect but might just be more common among people who are healthier to begin with. Devout Mormons, for instance, abstain from alcohol, smoking and caffeine, which are all factors that could affect heart health.
But the researchers say the findings are important because they affirm the results of an earlier, larger study, published in 2008 in The American Journal of Cardiology, that found a similar association between fasting and heart disease among 448 patients.
“The first study we did was not a chance finding,’’ said Dr. Benjamin D. Horne, director of cardiovascular and genetic epidemiology for Intermountain Healthcare, a health services and managed care firm in Salt Lake City. “We were able to replicate the findings and show that people who fast routinely have a lower prevalence of coronary disease.’’
The finding of the report was presented at the American College of Cardiology conference in New Orleans this week.
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