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Researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden followed 1,169 non-diabetic but hospitalized patients who had survived a heart attack. There chocolate consumption was noted and the participants were followed for the next eight-years. Consuming chocolate twice or more per week decreased their risk of dying by 66%, consuming it once a week decreased the risk of dying by 44% and once a month consumption decreased heart related death by 27%.
Dr Kenneth Mukamal, from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre in Boston, who co-authored the study, said that the study was not a license to indulge a sweet tooth. “[The findings were] specific to chocolate - we found no benefit to sweets in general,” he said. The Antioxidants in cocoa were “a likely candidate” to explain the potentially live-saving properties, he added. The findings of the study are published in the Journal of Internal Medicine.