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Egg consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease in the SUN Project

Abstract

Background/Objectives:

Egg consumption has been associated with the risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), but evidence is scarce and inconsistent. Our aim was to examine the association between egg consumption and incidence of CVD in a prospective dynamic Mediterranean cohort of 14 185 university graduates.

Subjects/Methods:

Egg intake was assessed using a 136-item-validated food-frequency questionnaire. Baseline consumption was categorized into no consumption or <1 egg/week, 1 egg/week, 2–4 eggs/week and >4 eggs/week. The presence of cardiovascular risk factors was assessed by questionnaire at baseline, and the incidence of CVD was assessed using biennial assessments. The median follow-up was 6.1 years. Cox regression models were fitted to estimate multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) for CVD (myocardial infarction, revascularization procedures or stroke). Outcomes were confirmed by review of medical records.

Results:

During a median follow-up of 6.1 years, 91 new confirmed cases of CVD were observed. No association was found between egg consumption and the incidence of CVD (HR: 1.10, 95% confidence interval: 0.46–2.63) for the highest versus the lowest category of egg consumption after adjusting for age, sex, total energy intake, adherence to the Mediterranean food pattern and other cardiovascular risk factors. Results were robust to different analytical scenarios.

Conclusions:

No association between egg consumption and the incidence of CVD was found in this Mediterranean cohort.

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Acknowledgements

We thank the enthusiastic collaboration and participation of the SUN cohort participants. We also thank the other members of the SUN Study Group: Alonso A, de Irala J, Delgado-Rodríguez M, Guillén-Grima F, Krafka J, Llorca J, Lopez del Burgo C, Marti A, Martínez JA, Nuñez-Córdoba JM, Pimenta A, Sánchez D, Sánchez–Villegas A, Seguí-Gómez C, Serrano-Martínez M and Toledo E. We are also grateful to the members of the Department of Nutrition of Harvard School of Public Health (A Ascherio, W Willett and FB Hu), who helped us design the SUN Study. The SUN Study has received funding from Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Oficial Agency of the Spanish Government for biomedical research (Grants PI01/0619, PI030678, PI040233, PI042241, PI050976, PI070240, PI070312, PI081943, PI080819, PI1002293, PI1002658, RD06/0045, and G03/140), the Navarra Regional Government (36/2001, 43/2002, 41/2005 and 36/2008) and the University of Navarra.

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Correspondence to M A Martínez-González.

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Zazpe, I., Beunza, J., Bes-Rastrollo, M. et al. Egg consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease in the SUN Project. Eur J Clin Nutr 65, 676–682 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1038/ejcn.2011.30

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/ejcn.2011.30

Keywords

  • stroke
  • myocardial infarction
  • cohort
  • prospective study
  • egg consumption
  • dietary cholesterol

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