Skipping Breakfast Increases Heart Disease Risk

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Breakfast is considered as the most important meal of the day. Not only does it give you the energy to do work for the rest of the day, it also provides the necessary nutrients that your body needs in order to perform at optimal levels. But recent studies have shown that eating breakfast may be more important than ever before, especially when it comes to your heart health.

According to an analysis of data taken from a 16-year study, men who reportedly skipped breakfast also had a higher risk of heart attack or death as a result of coronary heart disease. The results were recently reported in Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association.

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health analyzed data collected from 26,902 male health professionals aged from 45 to 82 years old. The participants answered health questionnaires relating to food frequency among other things. The data also included other important health factors such as physical activity, sleep, diet quality, alcohols intake, TV watching, medical history, BMI and other health related data. Their health outcomes were also monitored and noted during the course of the 16-year study.

The data collected showed that the men who reportedly skipped breakfast experienced a 27 percent increase in heart attack risk or death from heart disease as compared to the men who reported that they did not skip the important meal of the day.

According to Leah E. Cahill, Ph. D., a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Mass. and lead author of the said study, “Skipping breakfast may lead to one or more risk factors, including obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, which may in turn lead to a heart attack over time.”

In addition, the men who reported eating late at night showed a 55 percent higher risk for coronary heart disease. This also indicates just how late-night eating can affect your health. According to the collected data, those who reported skipping breakfast tend to be younger than those who did not. They were also more likely to be smokers, less physically active and drank more alcohol. During the course of the said study, 1,572 of the participants experienced first-time cardiac events. The researchers believe that while the study was composed of men, the results may also apply to women as well as the different ethnic groups, although further studies may be needed to establish the correlations.

Source: American Heart Association (2013, July 22). Skipping breakfast may increase coronary heart disease risk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130722202818.htm
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