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(Health.com) — “Women who eat more white bread, white rice, pizza, and other carbohydrate-rich foods that cause blood sugar to spike are more than twice as likely to develop heart disease than women who eat less of those foods, a new study suggests.

Men who eat lots of those carbohydrates — which have what’s known as a high glycemic index — do not have the same increased risk, however, perhaps because their bodies process the carbs differently, the researchers found.

Only carbohydrates with a high glycemic index appear to hurt the heart. Carbs with a low glycemic index — such as fruit and pasta — were not associated with an increased risk of heart disease, which suggests that the increased risk is caused “not by a diet high in carbohydrates, but by a diet rich in rapidly absorbed carbohydrates,” says the lead author of the study, Sabina Sieri, of the Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, a national institute for cancer research in Milan, Italy.”

I really like the first few paragraphs of the CNN article so included it above but I loved the study title more, so I included the abstract as well (below).

Dietary Glycemic Load and Index and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in a Large Italian Cohort

The EPICOR Study

Sabina Sieri, PhD; Vittorio Krogh, MD, MS; Franco Berrino, MD; Alberto Evangelista, BSc; Claudia Agnoli, PhD; Furio Brighenti, PhD; Nicoletta Pellegrini, PhD; Domenico Palli, MD; Giovanna Masala, MD; Carlotta Sacerdote, MD; Fabrizio Veglia, MD; Rosario Tumino, MD; Graziella Frasca, PhD; Sara Grioni, BSc; Valeria Pala, PhD; Amalia Mattiello, MD; Paolo Chiodini, PhD; Salvatore Panico, MD

Arch Intern Med. 2010;170(7):640-647.

Background Dietary glycemic load (GL) and glycemic index(GI) in relation to cardiovascular disease have been investigated in a few prospective studies with inconsistent results, particularly in men. The present EPICOR study investigated the association of GI and GL with coronary heart disease (CHD) in a large and heterogeneous cohort of Italian men and women originally recruited to the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study.

Methods We studied 47 749 volunteers (15 171men and 32 578 women) who completed a dietary questionnaire.Multivariate Cox proportional hazards modeling estimated adjusted relative risks (RRs) of CHD and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

Results During a median of 7.9 years of follow-up, 463CHD cases (158 women and 305 men) were identified. Women in the highest carbohydrate intake quartile had a significantly greater risk of CHD than did those in the lowest quartile (RR,2.00; 95% CI, 1.16-3.43), with no association found in men (P = .04 for interaction). Increasing carbohydrate intake from high-GI foods was also significantly associated with greater risk of CHD in women (RR, 1.68; 95% CI, 1.02-2.75),whereas increasing the intake of low-GI carbohydrates was not.Women in the highest GL quartile had a significantly greater risk of CHD than did those in the lowest quartile (RR, 2.24;95% CI, 1.26-3.98), with no significant association in men (P = .03for interaction).

Conclusion In this Italian cohort, high dietary GL and carbohydrate intake from high-GI foods increase the overall risk of CHD in women but not men.