Living near bars and restaurants could be dangerous to your health, according to study

Living near pubs, bars and fast food restaurants increases the risk of suffering from heart failureaccording to a study published in Circulation Heart Failure, the journal of the American Heart Association.

Furthermore, according to the study, the risk is greater for people without university education and those who live in urban areas without sports facilities.

It is the first study to analyze the relationship between unhealthy establishments and heart failure because until now “most research on nutrition and health has focused on the quality of food, without taking into account the impact of the environment,” says the Lead author Lu Qi, from Tulane University in New Orleans (United States).

The researchers conducted the study using data from the UK Biobank, a database that contains health information on more than 500,000 adults in the United Kingdom and is available to the scientific community.

Maximum radius of 1 kilometer

The team measured these people’s exposure to pubs or bars, restaurants or cafes and fast food restaurants within a maximum radius of 1 kilometer.

Participants were an average of 56 years old, more than half were women, and 94% were of white European descent.

After following these people between 2010 and 2021, they documented almost 13,000 cases of heart failure and they showed that the closer they lived to these establishments, the greater the risk of insufficiency.

Specifically, the study revealed that those who lived less than a kilometer from a prepared food establishment had a 16% higher risk of suffering from insufficiency, followed by those who lived in the surroundings of bars and pubs (14%) and who lived near fast food establishments, 12%.

Additionally, those who lived within 500 meters of bars and pubs had a 13% higher risk of heart failure, while those who lived closer to fast food establishments had a 10% higher risk than those who lived further away. far (more than 2 kilometers).

They also found that the risk of failure was higher among people without university education and in adults who lived in urban areas without sports facilities, such as gyms.


Expected results

For the authors, these results are expected “because previous studies had already suggested that exposure to environments with ready-to-eat foods is associated with the risk of other disorders, such as type 2 diabetes and obesity, which can increase the risk of heart failure,” says Qi.

In light of these results, researchers believe there is a need to facilitate access to healthier food outlets and physical exercise facilities in urban areas and help more people achieve higher levels of education.

However, although the research used a large sample size, it is unlikely to represent the general population because the majority of participants were white, elderly and resident in the United Kingdom.

In fact, in an accompanying editorial, Drs Elissa Driggin and Ersilia M. DeFilippis, from Columbia University Medical Center (New York), believe that more detailed analyzes are needed in communities with more diverse populations from the point of view racial and ethnic.

However, for these specialists, “given the clear association between the black race and the high incidence of heart failure compared to white patients, attention to the food environment in this high-risk population is of utmost importance,” they warn.

Curious facts about the study

The study found that within a 1 kilometer radius of the participants’ place of residence, there were an average of 3.57 prepared food establishments.

The average distance between streets and bars and pubs was 692 meters, 820 meters between restaurants and cafes, and 1,135 meters for fast food restaurants.

(With information from EFE)


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