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Danish study strengthens case for heart benefit in chocolate

30.06.2017  13:10

Consuming moderate amounts of chocolate was associated with significantly lower risk of being diagnosed with atrial fibrillation — a common and dangerous type of irregular heartbeat — in a large study of men and women in Denmark led by researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and in Denmark.

The research was published last month in the journal Heart.

Diagnoses of atrial fibrillation were identified from the Danish National Patient Register. There were 3,346 cases among the study participants over a 13.5-year follow-up period. Compared with those who ate a one-ounce serving of chocolate less than once per month, men and women who ate one to three servings per month had a 10 percent lower rate of atrial fibrillation; those who ate one serving per week had a 17 percent lower rate; and those who ate two to six servings per week had a 20 percent lower rate. The benefit leveled off slightly with greater amounts of chocolate consumption, with those eating one or more servings per day having a 16 percent lower rate. Results were similar for men and women.

The senior author of the study was Kim Overdad of Aalborg University Hospital in Denmark.