(HealthDay News) – Eating foods fried in olive or sunflower oil is not linked to heart disease or all-cause mortality, according to a Spanish study published online January 24 in British Medical Journal.

Pilar Guallar-Castillón, M.D., Ph.D., of the Autonomous University of Madrid, and colleagues studied the Spanish cohort of 40,757 adults participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. The participants (aged 29 to 69 years) were free of coronary heart disease at baseline (1992 to 1996) and were followed until 2004, with a median of 11 years of follow-up.

The researchers found that, during the study period, there were 606 coronary heart disease events and 1,135 all-cause deaths. The multivariate hazard ratio (HR) of coronary heart disease for those in the second, third, or fourth quarter of fried food consumption, compared with those in the first quarter, was 1.15, 1.07, and 1.08, respectively (P for trend = 0.74). There was no variation seen in the results between those who used olive oil or sunflower oil for frying. There was no correlation between fried food consumption and all-cause mortality, with a multivariate HR for the highest versus the lowest quarter of fried food consumption of 0.93 (P for trend = 0.98).

“In Spain, a Mediterranean country where olive or sunflower oil is used for frying, the consumption of fried foods was not associated with coronary heart disease or with all-cause mortality,” the authors write.

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