Harvard study finds egg consumption not associated with cardiovascular disease risk

Rusiru Bhagya/Pexels

Consuming up to one egg per day does not appear to be associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, according to a new study led by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and published in the journal BMJ.

For the study, researchers analyzed health data from 173,563 women and 90,214 men participating in the Nurses' Health Study (NHS) I and II, and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (HPFS) who were free of CVD, type 2 diabetes, and cancer at baseline. They used repeated measures of diet during up to 32 years of follow-up to gain a detailed picture of potentially confounding lifestyle factors such as high body mass index and red meat consumption. The researchers also conducted a meta-analysis including 28 prospective cohort studies with up to 1.7 million participants.

The analysis of NHS and HPFS participants found no association between moderate egg consumption and risk of CVD. Results from the meta-analysis supported this finding in U.S. and European populations. However, some evidence suggested that moderate egg consumption may be associated with lower CVD risk in Asian populations although this may be confounded by the overall dietary pattern.

The relationship between egg consumption and CVD risk has been a topic of debate in the scientific community in recent decades. In the past 12 months, three published studies have reported conflicting results, researchers said.

“Recent studies reignited the debate on this controversial topic,” said Jean-Philippe Drouin-Chartier, PhD, lead author of the study, in a statement, “but our study provides compelling evidence supporting the lack of an appreciable association between moderate egg consumption and cardiovascular disease.”