Men who skip breakfast face heart attack risk—study

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09:58 AM July 23rd, 2013

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July 23rd, 2013 09:58 AM

Photo shows a plate of pancakes with blueberries and granola mixed in the batter. A study of older men found those who regularly skipped breakfast had a 27 percent higher risk of a heart attack than those who ate a morning meal. There’s no reason why the results wouldn’t apply to other people, too, the Harvard researchers said. AP FILE PHOTO/MATTHEW MEAD

WASHINGTON—Men who skip breakfast may face a higher risk of heart attack or deadly heart disease, according to US research published on Monday.

A study of nearly 27,000 men found that those who failed to eat in the morning had a 27 percent higher risk of heart attack or death from coronary heart disease than those who did.

The men, ranging in age from 45 to 82, took part in a survey about food that tracked health outcomes from 1992 to 2008.

Those who did not eat breakfast tended to be on the younger side and were “more likely to be smokers, employed full time, unmarried, less physically active and drank more alcohol.”

“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,” said Leah Cahill, lead study author and a researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health.

The men who said they ate breakfast also appeared to eat one more time per day than those who did not, suggesting that those who skipped breakfast did not make up for the lack of food later.

Ninety-seven percent of men in the study were white and of European descent, but researchers said the results should apply to those of other backgrounds as well.

“Don’t skip breakfast,” Cahill said. “Eating breakfast is associated with a decreased risk of heart attacks.”

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