A team of international researchers studied almost 44,000 Swedish women, aged 30 to 49 years, for an average of 15 years.
Participants were asked to complete surveys on their diet and lifestyle and were followed to see whether those with a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet suffered any long-term consequences.
The researchers found that those who had the least carbohydrate and the most protein in their diet had a 60 per cent increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease than those who followed this diet the least.
The trend was noticeable even when factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, high blood pressure, exercise levels and fat intake had been taken into account.
Overall, the figures suggest that among those who follow a low-carb, high-protein diet, there may be four or five extra cases of cardiovascular disease per 10,000 women.
Publishing their findings in the British Medical Journal, the study authors warned that, when used on a regular basis, low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets may be associated with an increased risk of poor heart health.
The findings mean that women who are seeking a slender bikini body may want to consider alternative diet plans.
Writing in an accompanying editorial, German scientists Anna Floegel and Tobias Pischon claimed that the potential benefits of low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets for short-term weight loss "seem irrelevant in the face of increasing evidence of higher morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular diseases in the long term".
Instead, dieters should try to achieve a balance between the different food groups, according to Victoria Taylor, senior dietician at the British Heart Foundation.
She advised: "Try and include lean proteins and low-fat dairy, wholegrain and high-fibre carbohydrates, along with lots of fruit and veg and small amounts of healthy fats in your diet.
"Enjoying all of these in a balanced way is far better for both your heart and your waistline than trying to stick to a strict diet."