What health risks does the proximity of the home to pubs, bars or fast food bring

People who live close to pubs, bars and fast food restaurants have a higher risk of heart failure.

Restaurants around the house, risk factors for health – Photo Archive

People who live near pubs, bars and fast-food restaurants may have an increased risk of heart failure, according to a new study cited by Euronews. Specifically, people who have more ready-made food places around them had a 16% higher risk of heart failure, the research shows.

The study published in the journal Circulation: Heart Failure emphasizes the importance of the place of residence, considering that cardiovascular diseases are the main cause of death worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Scientists analyzed data from half a million UK Biobank adults aged 37 to 73.

Most previous research on the relationship between nutrition and human health has focused on food quality while neglecting the impact of the food environment. Our study highlights the importance of considering the food environment in nutrition researchLu Qi, lead author of the study and professor of epidemiology at Tulane University in the US, said in a statement.

These restaurants usually serve unhealthy food, the author of the study points out.

The researchers also assessed people's exposure to pubs, bars and fast-food restaurants based on proximity, living within one kilometer and density, the total number of ready-to-eat food outlets within a radius of one kilometer.

Fast food restaurants near the house increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases

People who had pubs and bars less than 500 meters from home had a 13% higher risk of heart failure compared to people who lived more than two kilometers away. In the case of fast food restaurants, the risk was 10 percent.

Overall, participants who lived in areas with the highest density of ready-to-eat food outlets, mainly pubs, bars and fast food outlets, had a 16% higher risk of heart failure compared with those who did not have these restaurants nearby, the study showed.

Specifically, heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump enough blood to the body's organs and tissues, causing fluid to build up in the lungs (pulmonary edema) and cause shortness of breath, according to Medicover.

Previous studies have suggested that exposure to ready-to-eat environments is associated with risks of other disorders such as type 2 diabetes and obesity, which may also increase the risk of heart failure“, stated the author of the study.

And socioeconomic status is a risk factor, with people without a college degree and those in urban areas without access to fitness centers having a higher risk of heart failure, the research shows.

Food insecurity is frequently interconnected with the composition of low socioeconomic status and ready-to-eat food environments“, the study notes, and food insecurity is a “notable social determinant” when it comes to heart failure risks.

In 2018, the Romanian Society of Cardiology warned that “in Romanian hospitals, a patient with heart failure dies every hour”.

Cardiologists pointed out that “the standardized mortality rate due to chronic heart failure (CH) estimated for Romania (40/100,000 people) is twice as high as in other countries in the European Union“. This is because of the lack of prevention programs in our country.

The most common causes of the condition are myocardial infarction, arterial hypertension and various heart valve diseases. Smoking, diabetes, alcohol consumption, but also aging are among the factors that increase the risk of heart failure.