Among postmenopausal women, no association between chocolate intake and risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, or both combined was observed in study participants free of pre-existing major chronic conditions. Using data from 83,310 postmenopausal women in the Women’s Health Initiative, researchers assessed the association between habitual chocolate intake and subsequent incident CHD and stroke, and the potential effect of modification by age. They found:
- There were 3,246 CHD and 2,624 stroke events or deaths, representing incidence rates of 3.9% and 3.2% during 1,098,091 and 1,101,022 person-years, respectively.
- There was no association between consumption of chocolate and risk of CHD or stroke.
- The results for CHD and stroke combined were similar, but were significantly modified by age.
- There was a significant positive linear trend and an increased risk in the highest quintile of chocolate consumption among women aged <65 years, but not for older women.
Greenberg JA, Manson JE, Neuhouser ML, et al. Chocolate intake and heart disease and stroke in the Women's Health Initiative: A prospective analysis. [Published online ahead of print June 21, 2018]. Am J Clin Nutrit. doi:10.1093/ajcn/nqy073.