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Dairy product consumption reduces cardiovascular mortality: results after 8 year follow-up of ELSA-Brasil

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To investigate whether the consumption of dairy products and their subgroups is associated with the risk of death from cardiovascular disease (CVD) after 8-year follow-up, and verify if dairy products predict changes in high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) between two follow-up visits of the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health (ELSA-Brasil).


Prospective study with 6671 participants without CVD at baseline. Consumption in grams/day of total dairy, full-fat and low-fat dairy, fermented dairy, and milk was obtained through a food frequency questionnaire and categorized into sex-specific quartiles. Cox regression and linear mixed-effect models were used to estimate associations of dairy products intake with death from CVD and changes in hs-CRP levels, respectively.


After adjustments, individuals in the 3rd and 4th quartiles of total dairy consumption presented, respectively, 62% (HR 0.38; 95% CI 0.15–0.99) and 64% (HR 0.36; 95% CI 0.14–0.94) lower hazards of death from CVD compared to the 1st quartile. Also, participants in the 4th quartile of milk consumption had 66% (HR 0.34; 95% CI 0.14–0.86) lower hazard to die from CVD, but only the 2nd quartile of full-fat dairy consumption indicated a lower hazard to die from CVD (HR 0.30; 95% CI 0.10–0.92). No association was observed between low-fat or fermented dairy products and cardiovascular mortality. Consumption of total dairy and their subgroups did not predict changes in hs-CRP levels after 4-year follow-up.


Results suggest beneficial effects of total dairy and milk, but only low-to-moderate full-fat dairy consumption, on the risk of death from CVD. Assuming true effects, public policies should encourage the consumption of dairy products, especially milk.

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Data and/or code availability

The data presented in this study are available on request from the corresponding author. The data are not publicly available due to privacy constraints.


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The authors thank the staff and participants of the ELSA-Brasil for their important contributions.


This work was supported by the Brazilian Ministry of Health (Department of Science and Technology) and the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (Financiadora de Estudos e Projetos—FINEP; and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico—CNPq), through Grant nos. 01 06 0010.00 RS, 01 06 0212.00 BA, 01 06 0300.00 ES, 01 06 0278.00 MG, 01 06 0115.00 SP and 01 06 0071·00 RJ. Grants follow-up 01 10 0643-03 RS; 01 10 0742-00 BA; 01 11 0093-01 RJ; 01 12 0284-00 ES; 01 10 0746-00 MG; 01 10 0773-00 SP. F.M.S received part of doctoral scholarship from Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG) and another part from Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES)—Finance Code 001. S.M.B. and L.G. are research fellows of CNPq, Brazil.

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Authors and Affiliations



FMS, SMB and LG contributed to the conception and design, analysis and interpretation of data, drafting the manuscript and critical review of the manuscript. LCCB and MFHSD contributed to the design and critical review of the manuscript for important intellectual content. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Sandhi Maria Barreto.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethics approval

This study was performed in line with the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki. ELSA-Brasil was approved by the Research Ethics Committees of the participating educational and research institutions. Ethics approval numbers: 669/06 (SP); 343/06 (RJ); 186/06 (MG); 041/06 (ES); 06-194 (RS); 027-06 (BA).



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All participants signed the informed consent forms before study visits.

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Silva, F.M., Giatti, L., Diniz, M.d.F.H.S. et al. Dairy product consumption reduces cardiovascular mortality: results after 8 year follow-up of ELSA-Brasil. Eur J Nutr 61, 859–869 (2022).

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