The risk seems to be greater in older women who are aged 50 or over and are post-menopausal, say researchers from the Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island. They studied the health and diets of 103,878 women, aged between 50 and 79, for five years; in that time, 1,711 women developed heart failure, and the risk was far greater in those who ate a lot of meat.
The risk was the same regardless of race, age and ethnicity, or if the women had a pre-existing condition such as high blood pressure, diabetes, coronary heart disease, anaemia or atrial fibrillation (abnormally fast heart beat).
Those who ate more vegetables had a lower risk of heart failure, and researchers think that vegetable protein could be protective.
Heart failure is common in post-menopausal women, but the risk could be reduced by eating more vegetables, say researchers.