Egg Consumption and Risk of Heart Failure in the Physicians’ Health Study
Background— Reduction in dietary cholesterol is widely recommended for the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Although eggs are important sources of dietary cholesterol and other nutrients, little is known about the association between egg consumption and heart failure (HF) risk.
Methods and Results— In a prospective cohort study of 21 275 participants from the Physicians’ Health Study I, we examined the association between egg consumption and the risk of HF. Egg consumption was assessed with the use of a simple abbreviated food questionnaire, and we used Cox regression to estimate relative risks of HF. After an average follow-up of 20.4 years, a total of 1084 new HF cases occurred in this cohort. Although egg consumption up to 6 times per week was not associated with incident HF, egg consumption of ≥7 per week was associated with an increased risk of HF. Compared with subjects who reported egg consumption of <1 per week, hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) for HF were 1.28 (1.02 to 1.61) and 1.64 (1.08 to 2.49) for egg consumption of 1 per day and ≥2 per day, respectively, after adjustment for age, body mass index, smoking, alcohol consumption, exercise, and history of atrial fibrillation, hypertension, valvular heart disease, and hypercholesterolemia. Similar results were obtained for HF without antecedent myocardial infarction.
Conclusions— Our data suggest that infrequent egg consumption is not associated with the risk of HF. However, egg consumption of ≥1 per day is related to an increased risk of HF among US male physicians.
Received August 13, 2007; accepted November 8, 2007.