Whole Grains Linked to Lower Risk of Heart Failure

Higher risk associated with higher intake of eggs and high-fat dairy

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 29 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of heart failure is lower in people who eat more whole grains and higher in people who eat more eggs and high-fat dairy, according to a study in the November issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Jennifer A. Nettleton, Ph.D., of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and colleagues examined the association between food intake in seven categories (whole grains, fruits/vegetables, fish, nuts, high-fat dairy, eggs, red meat) and the risk of heart failure in 14,153 African-American and white adults (45 to 64 years old). Food intake was assessed by a food frequency questionnaire.

During a mean of 13 years, there were 1,140 hospitalizations for heart failure. After adjusting for a number of confounding variables, the researchers found that the risk of heart failure was significantly lower with higher intake of whole grains (relative risk per one-serving increase per day, 0.93) but significantly higher with a higher intake of eggs (relative risk per one-serving increase per day, 1.23) and high-fat dairy (relative risk per one-serving increase per day, 1.08). The risk associations remained significant after the researchers adjusted for the other food groups, which were not associated with heart failure.

"Although risk estimates were modest ... the totality of literature in this area suggests it would be prudent to recommend that those at high risk of HF increase their intake of whole grains and reduce intake of high-fat dairy foods and eggs," Nettleton and colleagues conclude.

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