Chocolate lowers cardiac mortality after first acute myocardial infarction

Chocolate craving

Chocolate consumption was associated with lower cardiac mortality in a dose dependent manner in patients free of diabetes surviving their first Acute Myocardial Infarction. In contrast, intake of other sweets was not associated with cardiac or total mortality.

Now be aware that Dr Shock is extremely biased when it comes to chocolate but this conclusion is based on a study done in Sweden and recently published in the Journal of Internal Medicine. This was an observational study, in need of confirmation by more scientifically superior designs such as a study with a large scale, long-term, controlled randomized trials.

Having said all this what they did was following 1169 patients without diabetes who were hospitalized for a confirmed nonfatal first acute myocardial infarction (“heart attack”). The participants reported their chocolate consumption the year previous to the heart attack. After 3 months they all underwent a health examination and they were followed for hospitalization and mortality with Swedish registries for 8 years. They did take into account several confounding factors such as gender, age, hypertension, smoking etc. etc in their Cox proportional hazard model.

The only thing they forgot was to distinguish milk from dark chocolate. They categorized usual chocolate consumption as never, less than once per month, up to once per week and twice or more per week.

Want to know more about chocolate and cardiovascular health? Related posts on this blog:

Chocolate and Cardiovascular Health

The Right Chocolate Dose?

Dark Chocolate Improves Coronary Blood Flow
Janszky, I., Mukamal, K., Ljung, R., Ahnve, S., Ahlbom, A., & Hallqvist, J. (2009). Chocolate consumption and mortality following a first acute myocardial infarction: the Stockholm Heart Epidemiology Program Journal of Internal Medicine, 266 (3), 248-257 DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2796.2009.02088.x