Park Ridge, Ill. (December 16, 2008) A study recently published online in the journal Risk Analysis(1) estimates that eating one egg per day is responsible for less than 1 percent of the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) in healthy adults. Alternatively, lifestyle factors including poor diet, smoking, obesity and physical inactivity contribute 30 to 40 percent of heart disease risk, depending on gender. This study adds to more than thirty years of research showing that healthy adults can eat eggs without significantly affecting their risk of heart disease.
The study evaluated the risk of heart disease associated with egg consumption compared to modifiable lifestyle risk factors (smoking, poor diet, being overweight or obese, physical inactivity). The study authors used data from the 1999-2000 and 2001-2001 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) to categorize the U.S. adult population into various groups based on modifiable lifestyle risks. These populations account for 85 percent of all U.S. males ages 25 and older and 86 percent of U.S. females ages 25 and older.
The study found that the consumption of one egg per day contributes less than 1 percent of heart disease risk. Modifiable lifestyle risk factors smoking, poor diet, being overweight or obese and physical inactivity accounted for 30 to 40 percent of heart disease risk, while unavoidable risk factors, such as genetics, and potentially treatable risk factors, such as hypertension and diabetes, accounted for 60 to 70 percent.
According to the authors, the NHANES data show that very few Americans are leading lifestyles that may reduce the risk of heart disease: only 3 percent of males and 6 percent of females have none of the modifiable lifestyle risk factors that were investigated. The study authors conclude that efforts to prioritize risk factors and eliminate those that have the lar
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