People who consume an egg a day may have a significantly lower risk of cardiovascular diseases, according to a study carried out in China. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death and disability worldwide, including China, mostly due to ischaemic heart disease and stroke, according to the study published in the journal Heart. Researchers from Peking University in China examined the associations between egg consumption and cardiovascular disease, ischaemic heart disease, major coronary events, haemorrhagic stroke and ischaemic stroke.
“The study finds that there is an association between moderate level of egg consumption (up to 1 egg per day) and a lower cardiac event rate,” researchers said. They used data from the China Kadoorie Biobank (CKB) study, an ongoing prospective study of around half a million (512,891) adults aged 30 to 79 from 10 different geographical areas in China.
The participants were recruited between 2004-2008 and were asked about the frequency of their egg consumption. The researchers focused on 416,213 participants who were free of prior cancer, CVD and diabetes. From that group at a median follow-up of 8.9 years, a total of 83,977 cases of CVD and 9,985 CVD deaths were documented, as well as 5,103 major coronary events.
At the start of the study period, 13.1 per cent of participants reported daily consumption and 9.1 per cent reported never or very rare consumption of eggs. Eggs are a prominent source of dietary cholesterol, but they also contain high-quality protein, many vitamins and bioactive components such as phospholipids and carotenoids.
Analysis of the results showed that compared with people not consuming eggs, daily egg consumption was associated with a lower risk of CVD overall.
In particular, daily egg consumers had a 26 per cent lower risk of haemorrhagic stroke, a 28 per cent lower risk of haemorrhagic stroke death and an 18 per cent lower risk of CVD death.
There was a 12 per cent reduction in risk of ischaemic heart disease observed for people consuming eggs daily, when compared with the ‘never or rarely’ consumption category.