A new study has suggested that people who do intermittent fasting are more likely to die of heart disease.


Intermittent fasting is a diet that involves consuming all food for the day during an 8-hour window and fasting for the remaining 16 hours. It is one of the many trendy ways people try to lose or maintain their weight.

The latest findings were presented on Monday at an American Heart Association meeting in Chicago by researchers at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine.

The study — which has not yet been peer-reviewed or published in an academic journal — analysed data on the dietary habits of 20,000 adults in the United States between 2003 to 2018.


Victor Zhong, the lead researcher, said people who restricted their eating window to eight hours daily had a 91% increased risk of death from heart disease, compared to those who ate within a 12-16 hour window.

“We were surprised to find that people who followed an eight-hour, time-restricted eating schedule were more likely to die from cardiovascular disease,” he said.

“Our research clearly shows that, compared with a typical eating time range of 12-16 hours per day, a shorter eating duration was not associated with living longer.”


The study also revealed that the risk was not limited to healthy individuals. Participants with existing heart disease who followed the eight-hour eating schedule also faced a 66% death risk compared to those with a longer eating window.

The researchers also found that time-restricted eating did not reduce the overall risk of death from any cause.

However, there was a positive association for people with cancer. Those who ate for more than 16 hours daily showed a lower risk of death from the disease.

Zhong added that more research is needed to better understand why time-restricted eating might be harmful to heart health.


On his part, Christopher D Gardner, the Rehnborg Farquhar professor of Medicine at Stanford University, said “Overall, this study suggests that time-restricted eating may have short-term benefits but long-term adverse effects.

“When the study is presented in its entirety, it will be interesting and helpful to learn more of the details of the analysis”.

However, there is a 2021 study that showed that intermittent fasting could improve cardiometabolic health measures such as blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol levels.


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