A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association explored the association of eating nuts (some tree nuts, but mostly peanuts) with mortality/cardiovascular disease among Americans of African and European descent (of low socioeconomic class) as well as Chinese individuals in China. Over 200,000 subjects were followed for a period of up to 12 years. Food frequency questionnaires were given and analyzed for nut consumption during the investigation. The researchers observed a 21% and 17% reduced risk of mortality in the American and Chinese cohorts respectively with statistical significance. Also, a statistically significant inverse association was observed with ischemic heart disease in all study groups while the risk reductions of ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke were significant only in the Chinese sample. This cohort study controlled for numerous factors (e.g., smoking) that could be responsible for these associations. Tree nut and peanut consumption may reduce risk of mortality and cardiovascular morbidity, however, additional studies are needed to validate these findings. What other benefits are associated with eating nuts? What are your favorite nuts to recommend to patients?
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