Skipping breakfast raises heart attack risk
Washington: Men who regularly skip
breakfast may be at a 27 percent higher risk of heart attack than those
who take their morning meal, a large 16-year study has warned.
to the study published in the American Heart Association journal
Circulation, men who reported they skipped breakfast had a higher risk of
heart attack or death from coronary heart disease.
The timing of
meals, whether it's missing a meal in the morning or eating a meal very
late at night, may cause adverse metabolic effects that lead to coronary
Even after accounting for modest differences in
diet, physical activity, smoking and other lifestyle factors, the
association between skipping breakfast (or eating very late at night) and
coronary heart disease persisted.
Researchers analysed food
frequency questionnaire data and tracked health outcomes for 16 years
(1992-2008) on 26,902 male health professionals ages 45-82.
the study, 1,572 of the men had first-time cardiac events. The study found
that men who reported eating late at night (eating after going to bed) had
a 55 per cent higher coronary heart disease risk than those who didn't.
researchers were less convinced this was a major public health concern
because few men in the study reported this behaviour.
breakfast may lead to one or more risk factors, including obesity, high
blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, which may in turn lead to a
heart attack over time," said Leah E Cahill, study lead author and
Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard
School of Public Health in Boston.
"Our study group has spent
decades studying the health effects of diet quality and composition, and
now this new data also suggests overall dietary habits can be important to
lower risk of coronary heart disease," said Eric Rimm, senior author and
Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition, Harvard School of
Public Health and Associate Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical
Men who reported eating breakfast ate on average one more
time per day than those who skipped breakfast, implying that those who
abstained from breakfast were not eating additional make-up meals later in
Although there was some overlap between those who
skipped breakfast and those who ate late at night, 76 percent of
late-night eaters also ate breakfast, researchers said.
current study group was composed of men who were of 97 percent white
European descent, the results should also apply to women and other ethnic
groups, but this should be tested in additional studies, researchers said.
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