Intermittent fasting can increase risk for heart disease, study finds

Intermittent fasting may cause some health risks, including increasing the long-term risk of dying from heart disease, according to a new study.

Angelica Toruno and Robyn Karashik

Mar 19, 2024, 5:44 PM

Updated 26 days ago

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Intermittent fasting may cause some health risks, including increasing the long-term risk of dying from heart disease, according to a new study.
The findings were presented at an American Heart Association meeting in Chicago this week. Intermittent fasting is a type of dieting that is based on time restrictions.
The recent study tracked the diets of 20,000 adults between 2003 and 2018 that followed eight-hour intermittent fasting. The timings may vary depending on the person, but the premise is to eat less calories – which results in losing weight. The data showed that the adults who followed the fasting had a 91% higher risk of dying from heart disease compared to adults that followed a more traditional pattern of eating across 12 to 16 hours.
Medical experts like Doctor Neil Floch – a professor at Yale University school of medicine and a bariatric surgeon at Greenwich Hospital – say these findings aren’t something to be concerned about just yet.
"I wouldn't change your diet yet. Everybody should be treated as an individual and the diet could still be good for you,” said Floch.
Floch also said while it is an alarming finding, there's some factors in the study to consider.
"Patients may not be telling the truth about their diet, or after they gave this questionnaire for seven or eight years, changed their diet...or may be picking a group who is very unhealthy and studying them compared to another group who may be actually doing a healthier diet some other way,” said Floch.
He said these findings are not a reason for someone to completely stop.
"But what it does show is that we need to look further and researchers need to start doing other studies,” said Floch.
Instead, he suggests anyone looking to lose weight should speak to their primary doctor or a registered dietitian.


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