Whole Grain Cereals Protect Men Against Heart Failure

Effect does not extend to cereals made with refined grains

TUESDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Eating whole grain breakfast cereals is associated with a lower risk of heart failure among men, researchers report in the Oct. 22 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Luc Djousse, M.D., of Harvard Medical School in Boston, and a colleague followed 21,376 men, median age 53.7 years, who were participants in the Physicians' Health Study. Cereal consumption and health habits were ascertained at baseline, and medical histories were followed up with annual questionnaires.

After an average follow-up of 19.6 years, there were 1,018 new cases of heart failure. Hazard ratios for those who consumed one or fewer servings of cereal a week were 0.92, versus 0.79 for those who consumed between two and six servings per week and 0.71 for those consuming seven or more servings per week. These associations held after adjustments for age, smoking, alcohol consumption and other potential confounders, but only for whole grain cereals, not refined cereals.

"If confirmed in other studies, a higher intake of whole grains along with other preventive measures could help lower the risk of heart failure," the authors conclude.

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