(HealthDay News) − Higher trans fat intake increases the risk of ischemic stroke independent of other lifestyle factors, but the adverse effects of trans fat on ischemic stroke may be mitigated by aspirin.

Sirin Yaemsiri, MSPH, of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and colleagues analyzed the results of repeated and validated dietary assessments conducted using a self-administered questionnaire, in a prospective cohort of 87,025 generally healthy postmenopausal women (aged 50−79 years) enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study.

The researchers identified 1,049 incident cases of ischemic stroke over 663,041 person-years of follow-up. When controlling for other variables, women in the highest quintile of trans fat intake had a significantly higher incidence of ischemic stroke (hazard ratio [HR], 1.39; p-trend = 0.048) compared with women in the lowest quintile. Aspirin use attenuated the association (p-interaction = 0.02). Among 19,736 baseline aspirin users and 67,288 nonusers, the HRs were 0.95 (p-trend = 0.43) and 1.66 (p-trend < 0.01), respectively. There were no significant correlations between intakes of saturated, monounsaturated, or polyunsaturated fat and ischemic stroke or any subtypes of ischemic stroke.

“In this large cohort of postmenopausal women, higher intake of trans fat was associated with incident ischemic stroke independent of major lifestyle/dietary factors,” the authors write.

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