(Reuters) - Chinese
researchers presented more evidence Tuesday that
the standard Western diet
can cause heart disease.
- They said people who ate a
traditional Chinese diet,
based on rice, vegetables and green tea, were
much less likely to suffer
the physical symptoms of heart disease --
even though they have high rates
- But when Chinese people moved
to Western cities such
as San Francisco or Sydney, their arteries
started to make the changes
that herald heart disease, Dr. Kam Woo of
the University of Hong Kong told
a meeting of the American Heart
- ``Both Chinese and non-Chinese should recognize the potential
effects of the traditional Chinese diet,'' Woo told a news
- Green Tea
- ``They should think about
drinking more green tea, eating
more vegetables and eating less meat
and dairy products.'' Woo started
with villagers in Pan Yu, a town in
Guangdong province about 100 miles
from Hong Kong in southern China,
who have one of the lowest rates of heart
disease in the world.
- He used ultrasound,
which uses sound waves, to measure
the thickness of the inner walls of
the carotid arteries that feed blood
to the brains of some of the
villagers, and asked them about their dietary
- Woo then compared
these measurements to westernized Chinese
living in Hong Kong, Sydney,
and San Francisco. In all, he studied 116
people aged 20 to 60.
- The combined
thickness of the lining and middle muscle
layers of the carotid artery
are considered a good indicator of heart disease.
- The average carotid inner wall
thickness was about one-fifth
thinner among the Pan Yu villagers than
in the Westernized Chinese, Woo
- Half The
- The Pan Yu villagers ate just under half as much meat
a tiny fraction of the amount of dairy food as the Western-living
Chinese. They ate more vegetables, tofu and drank much more green
breakfast the villagers would eat congee, or rice
buns containing a small amount of meat and plenty of
- ``Hardly any ham,
bacon, sausage or scrambled egg is
eaten in the typical Pan Yu
breakfast meal,'' Woo said.
- Other meals included stir-fried or steamed vegetables,
a little meat and fish or tofu.
- ``That is in contrast to fried chicken or fish fillet''
in the West, he said.
- He said Westerners should not only eat more vegetables
and less fatty meat, but should cook Chinese-style more often, steaming
or stir-frying foods.
- US Wives
Don't Learn After Husband's Heart
- By Maggie Fox
Health and Science Correspondent
- ATLANTA (Reuters) - Wives
are not wising up to the dangers of heart
disease after their husbands
suffer heart attacks or undergo heart
bypass surgery, researchers said
- The researchers said doctors
and other health care workers
have assumed that women would not only
look out for their husband's health
after a heart attack, but for their
own health as well.
- But a study of 177 men recovering from a heart attack
or heart bypass surgery and their wives showed that the wives could be
in even more danger of heart disease than the husbands.
- ``Women may be at
increased risk if they are married
to men with heart disease because of
their shared lifestyle,'' Lynn Macken,
a registered nurse at Regional
West Medical Center in Scottsbluff, Nebraska,
- ``In some cases, the
women's risk factors were even higher
than their husbands', which was
particularly alarming because the women
tended to be younger than their
mates and were not being screened for potential
heart disease,'' Macken
average age of the women in the study was 58, and
of the men was
told a meeting of the American Heart Association
that, as might be
expected for people who live together, wives shared risk
heart disease with their husbands -- smoking, lack of exercise,
overweight and eating an unhealthy diet.
- The men had an average
cholesterol level of 212, while
the women had an average level of 226,
they found. Anything over 200 is
considered too high.
- The couples were
slightly overweight on average, with
an average body mass index (BMI)
of 25.5 for the women and 26 for the men.
BMI is calculated by dividing
a person's weight in kilograms by height
in meters squared.
- ``Our data suggest
that the spouses might be at higher
risk for heart disease,'' Macken
- Stress Of Ill Mate Worsens Situation
- The stress of having
an ill husband could make the women's
situation even worse, Macken
said. ``These women even tend to get sick
as they are caregivers for
their husbands,'' she said.
- She said health professionals were telling the patients
to start eating better and exercising, but this information was not
to the wives. ``They are making the assumptions that they are
be making these dietary changes,'' Macken said. ``Women tend
to be forgotten
- Studies have shown that
although one in three U.S. women
will die of heart disease, women tend
not to think they are at risk. Heart
disease is the No. 1 killer of
both men and women in industrialized countries
and, increasingly, in
- Other research presented at the conference showed that
if women follow American Heart Association guidelines, they can reduce
their risk of heart disease by more than 80 percent.
- The guidelines include quitting
smoking, exercising at
least 30 minutes every day, eating at least five
servings of fruit and
vegetables a day and getting no more than 30
percent of calories from fat.