When it comes to women’s’ health, there are certain genetic qualities that predispose the risk of developing certain diseases.
For instance, because women have dominance in estrogen and progesterone, they’re more likely to develop breast cancer.
And while genetics play some role in disease risk, so does behavior, which is why it’s crucial that we inform you women who do this common activity have a higher risk of heart disease-related deaths.
While the behavior you’re about to learn about is more typically ascribed to men, thanks to the way culture at large operates now, it’s become much more common for women to engage in.
Late-night eating has recently been associated with compromised heart health.
Which really shouldn’t be all that surprising, but should serve as a wake-up call to any woman who consumes a significant portion of their caloric intake in the evening hours.
Nour Makarem, who works with Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, and helped to discover this as one of the lead authors of the study found this after asking 112 women in good health over the age of 33 years to monitor their eating habits.
The women’s health was measured at the beginning of the study and then 1 year later.
They assessed the women’s health using a test called “Life’s Simple 7” which measures heart health based on 7 controllable risk factors.
They used these metrics to give the women a baseline health status at the beginning of the study and then compared it against it at the conclusion.
They requested that the women keep a food diary so they could track how much they ate, where they ate and what they ate.
They did this for 1 week at baseline and then again 12 months later.
With this data, they calculated if there was a relationship between heart health and when the women ate their meals.
According to the information they collected, the more calories women ate after 6 pm, the worse off their cardiovascular health was.
In fact, according to a study synopsis, “for each 1% increase in caloric intake after 6 pm, the cardiovascular health score declined. Blood pressure and body mass index tended to rise, and blood sugar control tended to be poorer.
The analysis yielded similar results for every 1% increase in calories after 8 pm.”
Interesting Genetic Link Correlated With Worse Health Metrics
An additional point of interest was how a person’s genetic makeup contributed to disease risk.
44% of the women in the study were Hispanic.
The researchers noted that when Hispanic women ate more calories after 6 pm it resulted in higher blood pressure than the rest of the participants.
This lead Makarem to conclude the following.
“So far, lifestyle approaches to prevent heart disease have focused on what we eat and how much we eat.”
“These preliminary results indicate that intentional eating that is mindful of the timing and proportion of calories in evening meals may represent a simple, modifiable behavior that can help lower heart disease risk.”
While the study was conclusive enough to cause the team to submit their findings to the American Heart Association, the team yielded to the fact that more research would need to be undertaken.