Egg and cholesterol intake, apolipoprotein E4 phenotype and risk of venous thromboembolism: findings from a prospective cohort study

Setor K Kunutsor 1 2 3 4, Jari A Laukkanen 3 5 6, Jyrki K Virtanen 6

PMID: 35443897 DOI: 10.1017/S0007114522000988


The impact of egg consumption, a major source of dietary cholesterol, with the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases (ASCVDs) is controversial. Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a CVD which shares common risk factors and mechanistic pathways with ASCVD. However, there is no data on the relationship between egg or cholesterol intake and VTE risk. Therefore, we evaluated the prospective associations of egg and cholesterol intakes with VTE risk and whether the apolipoprotein E4 (apoE4) phenotype, which influences cholesterol metabolism, could modify the associations. Data involving 1,852 men aged 42-61 years at baseline without a history of VTE or coronary heart disease in the population-based Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study were analysed. Dietary intakes were assessed with 4-day food records. Incident VTE events were identified by record linkage to hospital discharge registries. Hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals [CIs]) for incident VTE were estimated using Cox regression. During a median follow-up of 28.8 years, 132 VTE events occurred. Comparing the top (>38 g/d) versus bottom (<20 g/d) tertiles of egg consumption, the HR (95% CI) for VTE was 0.99 (0.64-1.53) in analysis adjusted for several established risk factors and other dietary factors. There was also no evidence of an association between cholesterol intake and VTE risk. Imputed results were consistent with the observed results. The apoE4 phenotype did not modify the associations. In middle-aged and older Finnish men, egg or cholesterol intakes were not associated with future VTE risk. Other large-scale prospective studies are needed to confirm or refute these findings.

Keywords: Egg consumption; apolipoprotein E4; cohort study; dietary cholesterol; risk factor; venous thromboembolism.

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