For women with heart disease, eating too many artery-clogging trans fats may increase their risk of dying suddenly from cardiac arrest.
Trans fats, found largely in commercially prepared baked and fried foods, have become notorious in recent years because they not only raise "bad" LDL cholesterol, but also lower levels of heart-healthy HDL cholesterol. High trans-fat intake has been linked to coronary heart disease, in which fatty plaques build up in the heart arteries, sometimes leading to a heart attack.
In a new study, researchers found that among nearly 87,000 U.S. women followed for 26 years, trans fat intake was linked to an increased risk of sudden cardiac death among women who had underlying coronary heart disease. In this group, women who ate the most trans fats were three times more likely to die of cardiac arrest.