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Diet Rich in Whole Grains May Reduce Overall, CVD Mortality

Mortality benefit did not appear to extend to cancer

TUESDAY, Jan. 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Each 1-ounce serving of whole grains can reduce a person's overall risk of mortality by 5 percent, and risk of mortality due to cardiovascular disease by 9 percent, according to findings published online Jan. 5 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

"We saw clear evidence that the more whole grain intake, the lower the mortality rate is," study coauthor Qi Sun, M.D., Sc.D., an assistant professor of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, told HealthDay. "When we looked at risk of death from heart disease, there was an even stronger association."

Sun's team based the findings on data from two long-term health studies dating back to the mid-1980s involving 118,085 nurses and health professionals. In the studies, participants were required to fill out food and diet questionnaires every two to four years, which included questions about their whole grain intake.

Over 26 years, there were 26,920 deaths among the people participating in the two studies, the researchers found. One-third fewer people died among the group that ate the most whole grains per day, compared with those who ate the lowest amount of whole grains. However, eating whole grains did not appear to affect a person's risk of mortality due to cancer, the investigators noted.

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