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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Iowa: Study Links Skipping Breakfast Associated with Higher Risk of Cardiovascular Death

Eating breakfast every day has always been considered an important part of a healthy lifestyle, but a new study from the University of Iowa shows just how important it is.

The study, by Dr. Wei Bao, assistant professor of epidemiology in the University of Iowa College of Public Health, finds that people who never ate breakfast had an 87 percent higher risk of death caused by cardiovascular disease than people who ate breakfast every day. Published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, it supports the benefits of eating a daily breakfast in promoting heart health.

Dr. Bao says the new study is the first to evaluate breakfast’s impact on the risk of cardiovascular death. Researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, an annual survey from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The researchers used data from 6,550 Americans age 40 to 75 years gathered between 1988 and 1994 who were asked how often they ate breakfast.

Among them, 5.1 percent reported never eating breakfast, 10.9 percent said they rarely ate breakfast, 25 percent said they ate breakfast some days, and 59 percent said they ate breakfast every day. Analysis found that those participants who never ate breakfast were 87 percent more likely to die from cardiovascular disease and stroke than those who ate breakfast every day, after accounting for demographic, socioeconomic, dietary, lifestyle, body mass index, and cardiovascular risk factors.

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