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Moderate egg consumption and all-cause and specific-cause mortality in the Spanish European Prospective into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-Spain) study

Abstract

Purpose

Dietary guidelines for egg consumption for general population differ among public health agencies. Our aim was to investigate the association between egg intake and both all-cause and specific-cause of mortality in a Mediterranean population.

Methods

The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-Spain cohort included 40,621 men and women aged 29–69 years old in the nineties from 5 Spanish regions. After a mean of 18 years of follow-up, 3,561 deaths were recorded, of which 1,694 were from cancer, 761 from CVD, and 870 from other causes. Data on egg consumption was collected using a validated diet history at recruitment. Cox proportional hazards models, adjusted for confounders, were used in the analyses.

Results

The mean (standard deviation) egg consumption was 22.0 g/day (15.8) and 30.9 g/day (23.1) in women and men, respectively. No association was observed between egg consumption and all-cause mortality for the highest vs the lowest quartile (HR 1.01; 95% CI 0.91–1.11; P trend = 0.96). Likewise, no association was observed with cancer and cardiovascular diseases mortality. However, an inverse association was found between egg consumption and deaths for other causes (HR 0.76; 95% CI 0.63–0.93; P trend = 0.003), particularly for deaths from the nervous system (HR 0.59; 95% CI 0.35–1.00; P trend = 0.036). No interaction was detected with the adherence to Mediterranean diet.

Conclusions

This study shows no association between moderate egg consumption, up to 1 egg per day, and main causes of mortality in a large free-living Mediterranean population.

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Abbreviations

CVD:

Cardiovascular diseases

EPIC:

European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition

ICD:

International Classification of Diseases

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Acknowledgements

The authors thank all participants in the EPIC-Spain cohort for their invaluable contribution to the study.

Funding

This work has been awarded with the Spanish Institute for Egg Studies Research Award 2016. This study used data from the EPIC-Spain study, which has received financial support from the Health Research Fund (FIS, 02/0652) of the Spanish Ministry of Health, the ISCIII (RETIC-RD06/0020 and the CIBER en Epidemiología y Salud Pública), the Spanish Regional Government of Andalusia, Asturias, the Basque Country, Murcia and Navarra, and the Catalan Institute of Oncology. Some authors are partners of ECNIS, a network of excellence of the EU 6FP. R.Z.R. would like to thank the “Miguel Servet” program (CP15/00100) from the Institute of Health Carlos III and the European Social Fund (ESF).

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Authors

Contributions

RZ-R designed the research; VC and RC performed the statistical analysis; RZ-R drafted the manuscript; MLR, M-JS, MR-B, J-JS-C, OM, LG, PA, CN, MDC, JMH, AB, EA, CM-I, AA contributed to the design of the study, data collection, and quality control and analysis. All authors read, critically reviewed and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Raul Zamora-Ros.

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Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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Zamora-Ros, R., Cayssials, V., Cleries, R. et al. Moderate egg consumption and all-cause and specific-cause mortality in the Spanish European Prospective into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-Spain) study. Eur J Nutr 58, 2003–2010 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-018-1754-6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-018-1754-6

Keywords

  • Egg
  • Intake
  • Mortality
  • EPIC-Spain
  • Cohort