The participants were monitored for an average of almost 12 years and consisted of 9214 men and 11 737. During the 12 years, fourteen percent experienced either an episode of fatal or non-fatal coronary heart disease or stroke.
The research findings revealed that higher levels of consumption of chocolate was associated with a 18% reduction of the measured inflammatory protein (CRP, younger age and lower weight (BMI), waist: hip ratio, systolic blood pressure, inflammatory proteins, diabetes and more regular physical activity adding up to a decreased cardiovascular disease risk profile.
The highest chocolate intake was similarly associated with a 23% lower risk of stroke, even after taking account of other potential risk factors. Five studies included in the systematic review assessed coronary heart disease and stroke outcome, and determined a lower risk of both conditions associated with regular chocolate consumption.
Chun Shing Kwok, S Matthijs Boekholdt, Marleen A H Lentjes, Yoon K Loke, Robert N Luben, Jessica K Yeong, Nicholas J Wareham, Phyo K Myint, Kay-Tee Khaw. Habitual chocolate consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease among healthy men and women. Heart, 15 June 2015 DOI: 10.1136/heartjnl-2014-307050