Data for MI and stroke hospitalizations for New York state from 2002 to 2013 were reviewed from December 2014 to July 2016. As the restriction was only executed in vastly urban counties, researchers compared those counties with counties without restrictions and similar urban settings. Eleven counties with restrictions and 25 counties without restrictions were analyzed.
To ensure that New York City did not guide the results, sensitivity analyses were performed. The primary outcome was a composite of stroke and MI event rates. Individual events of MI and stroke were the secondary outcomes.
Before the trans fatty acid restrictions were enforced, hospital admission rates were declining in New York. A significant decline was noted for hospitalizations for the primary outcome 3 or more years after the restrictions were enacted vs. counties without restrictions (–6.2%; 95% CI, –9.2 to –3.2), which equals to 43 events that were avoided for every 100,000 people.
According to the researchers, there was a significant decline in MI (–7.8%; 95% CI, –12.7 to –2.8), but the decline was not as substantial for stroke (–3.6%; 95% CI, –7.6 to –0.4). Men and women experienced similar results for secondary outcomes.
After sensitivity analyses for the removal of results from New York City, results remained unchanged.
The restriction on trans fatty acids was implemented when other health regulations were enforced, which may have also lowered hospitalizations for stroke and MI. In New York City, smoking was banned in parks and beaches, and caloric information was required to be posted on food menus.
“However, our results remained significant for [Urban Influence Code 1] populations when excluding NYC from the analyses,” Eric J. Brandt, MD, clinical fellow at Yale University School of Medicine, and colleagues wrote. “As a result, it is unlikely that our results were confounded by the public health measures.” – by Darlene Dobkowski