Among adults, skipping meals is associated with excess bodyweight, hypertension, insulin resistance, and elevated fasting lipid concentrations. However, it remains unknown whether specific eating habits irrespective of dietary composition influence coronary heart disease (CHD) risk. The objective of this study was to prospectively examine eating habits and risk of CHD.
Methods and Results
Eating habits including breakfast eating were assessed in 1992 in 26,902 American men aged 45-82 years from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study who were free of cardiovascular disease and cancer. During 16 years of follow-up, 1,527 incident CHD cases were diagnosed. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for CHD, adjusted for demographic, diet, lifestyle, and other CHD risk factors. Men who skipped breakfast had a 27% higher risk of CHD as compared with men who did not (RR=1.27, 95% CI:1.06-1.53). Compared with men who did not eat late at night, those who ate late at night had a 55% higher CHD risk (RR=1.55, 95% CI:1.05-2.29). These associations were mediated by BMI, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia and diabetes. No association was observed between eating frequency (times/day) and risk of CHD.
Eating breakfast was associated with significantly lower CHD risk in this cohort of male health professionals.