Can Chocolate Lower Your Risk of Stroke?

Article ID: 561008

Released: 2-Feb-2010 1:30 PM EST

Source Newsroom: American Academy of Neurology (AAN)

Newswise — Eating chocolate may lower your risk of having a stroke, according to an analysis of available research that will be released today and presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 62nd Annual Meeting in Toronto April 10 to April 17, 2010. Another study found that eating chocolate may lower the risk of death after suffering a stroke.

The analysis involved reviewing three studies on chocolate and stroke.

“More research is needed to determine whether chocolate truly lowers stroke risk, or whether healthier people are simply more likely to eat chocolate than others,” said study author Sarah Sahib, BScCA, with McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Sahib worked alongside Gustavo Saposnik, MD, MSc, where the study was completed at St. Michael’s Hospital and the University of Toronto.

Chocolate is rich in antioxidants called flavonoids, which may have a protective effect against stroke, but more research is needed.

The first study found that 44,489 people who ate one serving of chocolate per week were 22 percent less likely to have a stroke than people who ate no chocolate. The second study found that 1,169 people who ate 50 grams of chocolate once a week were 46 percent less likely to die following a stroke than people who did not eat chocolate.

The researchers found only one additional relevant study in their search of all the available research. That study found no link between eating chocolate and risk of stroke or death.

The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 22,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Parkinson’s disease, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), dementia, West Nile virus, and ataxia. For more information about the American Academy of Neurology and the AAN Annual Meeting, visit http://www.aan.com.

Editor's Notes: Study authors are available for advance interviews. Please contact Rachel Seroka, rseroka@aan.com.

Non-late-breaking abstracts to be presented at the AAN Annual Meeting will be posted online in advance of the AAN Annual Meeting at 4 pm, ET, Wednesday, February 17, 2010, at http://www.aan.com/go/science/abstracts.

Late-breaking abstracts will not be posted online in advance of the Annual Meeting and will remain embargoed until the date and time of presentation of the late-breaking abstract at the AAN Annual Meeting in Toronto, April 10-17, 2010. Late-breaking abstracts will be featured in press release and in press conference at the 2010 AAN Annual Meeting in Toronto. To register to attend the AAN Annual Meeting Press Room in Toronto, visit http://www.aan.com/go/press/registration.


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