MAR 07, 2024 9:00 AM PST

Living Near Bars and Fast Food is Bad for the Heart

WRITTEN BY: Savannah Logan

A new study published in the journal Circulation: Heart Failure has shown that living near pubs, bars, and fast-food restaurants is linked to a greater risk of developing heart failure.

The prospective cohort study included data from over 500,000 adults in the UK Biobank. Each participant’s exposure to pubs or bars, restaurants or cafeterias, and fast-food restaurants was measured based on their proximity (within one kilometer or a 15-minute walk) and density (the number of each type of establishment within one kilometer). The rate of incident heart failure for all participants was also measured, and the follow-up time was about 12 years. The goal of the study was to see how exposure to different food sources impacts the risk of developing heart failure.

The results showed that closer proximity and greater density of all three types of establishments were associated with a greater risk of developing heart failure. These results were particularly pronounced for pubs/bars and fast-food restaurants. Overall, those in high-density environments were 16% more likely to develop heart failure compared to those with no close establishments. Those with a high density of pubs/bars had a 14% greater risk, and those with a high density of fast-food restaurants had a 12% greater risk. Similarly, those with the highest proximity to pubs/bars had a 13% greater risk, and those close to fast food had a 10% greater risk compared to those who lived farthest away.

The authors noted that these results were expected based on previous findings. Exposure to ready-to-eat foods has been previously linked to the development of type 2 diabetes and obesity, which are both linked to heart failure. The results suggest that a greater density of healthy food options and greater access to fitness centers may improve health in urban areas.

Sources: Circulation: Heart Failure, Science Daily

About the Author
Doctorate (PhD)
Savannah (she/her) is a scientific writer specializing in cardiology at Labroots. Her background is in medical writing with significant experience in obesity, oncology, and infectious diseases. She has conducted research in microbial biophysics, optics, and education. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Oregon.
You May Also Like
Loading Comments...