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8-hour intermittent fasting each day increases risk of cardiovascular death: Study

First Published: 19th March, 2024 14:44 IST

The researchers, led by Victor Zhong of the Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, analyzed data from adults included in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National

Intermittent fasting, a diet pattern that involves alternating between times of fasting and eating, has grown in popularity for its supposed benefits, including weight loss, reduced cholesterol levels, and higher metabolism; however, new research shows a potential drawback to this eating style. However, an analysis presented Monday at the American Heart Association’s scientific meetings in Chicago undermines the concept that intermittent fasting is beneficial for heart health.

According to the preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention│Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Scientific Sessions 2024,, an analysis of over 20,000 U.S. adults found that people who limited their eating across less than 8 hours per day, a time-restricted eating plan, were more likely to die from cardiovascular disease compared to people who ate across 12-16 hours per day.

The researchers, led by Victor Zhong of the Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, analyzed data from adults included in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

The study looked at answers to questionnaires along with death data from 2003 through 2019. Because it relied in part on forms that required patients to recall what they ate over two days, scientists said there was room for potential inaccuracies. About half of the patients were men and the mean age was 48.

It wasn’t clear how long the patients continued the intermittent fasting, though the researchers assumed they kept it up, according to Zhong.

Contrary to previous studies indicating health benefits associated with time-restricted eating, this research suggests that there may be no overall mortality benefit from this eating pattern. Furthermore, among individuals with cancer, those who did not practice fasting and consumed their daily calories over 16 hours had a lower risk of cancer mortality.

Further research is needed to better understand its long-term implications for cardiovascular health and overall well-being.

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