Living within a kilometer of pubs, bars and takeaways increases the risk of heart failure by up to 16 per cent, according to one study.
People living in “high-density” areas, with 11 or more locations within walking distance, had a 16 percent higher risk of the deadly disease than those who had none near their homes.
The study was conducted in the US using health data from 500,000 people in the UK.
Living near a pub or bar is too much temptation (stock)
Professor Lu Qi, from Tulane University in New Orleans, said: “Most previous research on the relationship between nutrition and human health has focused on food quality, neglecting the impact of the food environment.
“Our study highlights the importance of taking the food environment into account in nutrition research.”
The researchers compared the prevalence of heart failure with the proximity of people’s homes to three types of food establishments: pubs or bars, restaurants or cafes, and fast food takeaways.
They found that 13,000 people in the study group suffered heart failure, and those who lived near a variety of different locations had worse outcomes.
Those in areas with higher pub and bar density showed a 14 per cent higher risk of heart failure, while those in areas with more takeaways had a 12 per cent higher risk.
People who lived in close proximity (less than 550 yards (0.31 miles)) to at least one pub or bar had a 13 percent increased risk of heart failure.
The risk of heart failure was also higher among people with lower educational levels and adults in urban areas without access to formal physical activity facilities, such as gyms.
The study, published in Circulation Heart Failure, said improving access to healthier food options and fitness facilities in urban areas could be the key to reducing deaths.
Heart failure is a condition in which the heart muscle cannot pump enough blood to meet the body’s blood and oxygen needs. It usually appears gradually or may develop after a heart attack if the heart muscle is severely damaged.