Associations of Dietary Cholesterol or Egg Consumption with Incident Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality

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Abstract

Importance: Cholesterol is a common nutrient in the human diet and eggs are a major source of dietary cholesterol. Whether dietary cholesterol or egg consumption is associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mortality remains controversial. Objective: To determine the associations of dietary cholesterol or egg consumption with incident CVD and all-cause mortality. Design, Setting, and Participants: Individual participant data were pooled from 6 prospective US cohorts using data collected between March 25, 1985, and August 31, 2016. Self-reported diet data were harmonized using a standardized protocol. Exposures: Dietary cholesterol (mg/day) or egg consumption (number/day). Main Outcomes and Measures: Hazard ratio (HR) and absolute risk difference (ARD) over the entire follow-up for incident CVD (composite of fatal and nonfatal coronary heart disease, stroke, heart failure, and other CVD deaths) and all-cause mortality, adjusting for demographic, socioeconomic, and behavioral factors. Results: This analysis included 29615 participants (mean [SD] age, 51.6 [13.5] years at baseline) of whom 13299 (44.9%) were men and 9204 (31.1%) were black. During a median follow-up of 17.5 years (interquartile range, 13.0-21.7; maximum, 31.3), there were 5400 incident CVD events and 6132 all-cause deaths. The associations of dietary cholesterol or egg consumption with incident CVD and all-cause mortality were monotonic (all P values for nonlinear terms,19-.83). Each additional 300 mg of dietary cholesterol consumed per day was significantly associated with higher risk of incident CVD (adjusted HR, 1.17 [95% CI, 1.09-1.26]; adjusted ARD, 3.24% [95% CI, 1.39%-5.08%]) and all-cause mortality (adjusted HR, 1.18 [95% CI, 1.10-1.26]; adjusted ARD, 4.43% [95% CI, 2.51%-6.36%]). Each additional half an egg consumed per day was significantly associated with higher risk of incident CVD (adjusted HR, 1.06 [95% CI, 1.03-1.10]; adjusted ARD, 1.11% [95% CI, 0.32%-1.89%]) and all-cause mortality (adjusted HR, 1.08 [95% CI, 1.04-1.11]; adjusted ARD, 1.93% [95% CI, 1.10%-2.76%]). The associations between egg consumption and incident CVD (adjusted HR, 0.99 [95% CI, 0.93-1.05]; adjusted ARD, -0.47% [95% CI, -1.83% to 0.88%]) and all-cause mortality (adjusted HR, 1.03 [95% CI, 0.97-1.09]; adjusted ARD, 0.71% [95% CI, -0.85% to 2.28%]) were no longer significant after adjusting for dietary cholesterol consumption. Conclusions and Relevance: Among US adults, higher consumption of dietary cholesterol or eggs was significantly associated with higher risk of incident CVD and all-cause mortality in a dose-response manner. These results should be considered in the development of dietary guidelines and updates.

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Zhong, V. W., Van Horn, L., Cornelis, M. C., Wilkins, J. T., Ning, H., Carnethon, M. R., … Allen, N. B. (2019). Associations of Dietary Cholesterol or Egg Consumption with Incident Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality. JAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association, 321(11), 1081–1095. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2019.1572

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