People who live within 500m of a pub or bar could be more likely to suffer from heart failure, a study suggests.

Heart failure is defined as a condition in which the heart muscle cannot pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs for blood and oxygen.

Those living closer to a watering hole were on average 15 percent more likely to receive a diagnosis than those living at least 2km away, research found.

Experts looked at almost 13,000 heart failure cases in the UK over 12 years.

People who lived in areas with the most takeaways – defined as 11 or more within a 1km area – were also 15 percent more likely to be struck.

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Study leader Dr Lu Qi, a professor in epidemiology at Tulane University in New Orleans, US, said: “Most previous research on the relation between nutrition and human health has been focused on food quality, while neglecting the impact of food environment.

“Our study highlights the importance of accounting for food environment in nutrition research.”

The link between living near food and drink establishments and increased heart failure risk was stronger among people with a lower level of education and those living in urban areas without easy access to gyms.

Heart failure is most common among older people and tends to get gradually worse over time.

Symptoms include breathlessness after activity, feeling tired and being easily exhausted by exercise, feeling lightheaded and swollen ankles or legs.

Obesity, anaemia, drinking too much alcohol and an overactive thyroid can all lead to the condition.

The findings were published in Circulation: Heart Failure, an American Heart Association journal.

Previous research has similarly found that people who live or work near takeaways eat more junk food and are more likely to be overweight.

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