Bisher AKIL, MD

Eggs and CVD

In General Health, Heart on February 25, 2013 at 12:04 am

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends consuming <300 mg of cholesterol daily (Circulation 2006; 114:82), to lower blood cholesterol and cardiovascular disease risk(CVD), and because chicken eggs are high in cholesterol (about 200 mg each), clinicians commonly advise patients with elevated blood cholesterol to avoid eating them. However, the association between egg consumption and cardiovascular disease is unclear. In a meta-analysis of 17 prospective cohort studies in which egg consumption was measured with food-frequency questionnaires, investigators assessed this association.The analysis included nine reports on coronary heart disease (CHD) and eight reports on stroke, with 10 to 20 years of follow-up in most studies. No associations between egg consumption and risk for CHD or stroke were observed. However, subgroup analyses of diabetic patients in which highest and lowest egg consumption were compared showed excess risk for CHD (relative risk, 1.5) and less risk for hemorrhagic stroke (RR, 0.8).

Comments: Another myth is challenged. This meta-analysis shows little association between egg consumption and coronary heart disease or stroke, and consumption was not associated with coronary heart disease or stroke except for excess CHD risk in diabetic patients, suggesting that most patients don’t need to avoid eggs. The findings are consistent with metabolic research showing that, in most people, dietary saturated and trans fatty acids influence serum LDL cholesterol more than dietary cholesterol does. As the authors note, chicken eggs are inexpensive and rich in protein and other nutrients.

CITATION: Rong Y et al. Egg consumption and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke: Dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. BMJ 2013 Jan 7; 346:e8539. Appeared in Journal Watch General Medicine.

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