Meta-analysis of Egg Consumption and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease and Stroke.
The possible relationship between dietary cholesterol and cardiac outcomes has been scrutinized for decades. However, recent reviews of the literature have suggested that dietary cholesterol is not a nutrient of concern. Thus, we conducted a meta-analysis of egg intake (a significant contributor to dietary cholesterol) and risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke. A comprehensive literature search was conducted through August 2015 to identify prospective cohort studies that reported risk estimates for egg consumption in association with CHD or stroke. Random-effects meta-analysis was used to generate summary relative risk estimates (SRREs) for high vs low intake and stratified intake dose-response analyses. Heterogeneity was examined in subgroups where sensitivity and meta regression analyses were conducted based on increasing egg intake. A 12% decreased risk (SRRE = 0.88, 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.81-0.97) of stroke was observed in the meta-analysis of 7 studies of egg intake (high vs low; generally 1/d vs <2/wk), with little heterogeneity (p-H = 0.37, I2 = 7.50). A nonstatistically significant SRRE of 0.97 (95% CI, 0.88-1.07, p-H = 0.67, I2 = 0.00) was observed in the meta-analysis of 7 studies of egg consumption and CHD. No clear dose-response trends were apparent in the stratified intake meta-analyses or the meta regression analyses. Based on the results of this meta-analysis, consumption of up to one egg daily may contribute to a decreased risk of total stroke, and daily egg intake does not appear to be associated with risk of CHD.
Key Teaching Points:
- The role of egg consumption in the risk of stroke and coronary heart disease has come under scrutiny over many years.
- A comprehensive meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies that reported risk estimates for egg consumption in association with CHD or stroke was performed on the peer-reviewed epidemiologic literature through August 2015.
- Overall, summary associations indicate that intake of up to 1 egg daily may be associated with reduced risk of total stroke.
- Overall, summary associations show no clear association between egg intake and increased or decreased risk of CHD.
- Eggs are a relatively low-cost and nutrient-dense whole food that provides a valuable source of protein, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, choline, vitamins, and minerals.
DD, Alexander; PE, Miller; AJ, Vargas et al. (2016) Meta-analysis of Egg Consumption and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease and Stroke. National Center for Biotechnology Information. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27710205.