The most outstanding findings of this part of the overall study show that nut consumption reduces the risk of both fatal and nonfatal coronary heart disease. Again, the researchers looked for a variety of ways to disprove the finding, adjusting the data for differences in age, sex, smoking habits, exercise, relative weight, and hypertension. The protective qualities of nuts remained statistically significant and essentially unchanged in magnitude.
Those individuals who ate nuts one to four times a week had 26% decrease in the risk of suffering from definite nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI) and a 27% decrease in the risk of definite fatal coronary heart disease as compared to those who ate nuts less than once a week. However, those individuals who ate nuts five or more times a week had a 48% decrease in the risk of definite nonfatal heart attack and a 38% reduced risk of definite fatal CHD as compared to the group who ate nuts less than once a week.
Age- and sex-adjusted analyses of the associations between nut consumption and definite CHD were calculated for various subgroups within the Adventist Health Study. Results were examined to see if the association between nut consumption and CHD held up in different segments of the population. The consistency was quite remarkable and adds to the researchers' confidence in the importance of these findings.
Both "ever-smokers" and "never-smokers" showed a 46% decrease in the risk of coronary heart disease when they ate nuts five or more times a week. Study participants with normal blood pressure showed that eating nuts more than five times a week reduced their risk of coronary heart disease by 60% percent, and hypertensive individuals enjoyed a 30% decrease in risk compared to similar subjects who ate few nuts.
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