Park Ridge, Ill. (April 9, 2008) A study published in the April 2008 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition(1) suggests an association between high egg consumption and all-cause mortality, an unusual finding for which the researchers do not provide an explanation. The researchers, Djouss and Gaziano, analyzed data from the Physicians Health Study I which followed male physicians over a 20 year period.
The fact is, healthy adults can continue to enjoy eggs as part of a balanced diet, and the findings certainly are not strong enough to suggest that anyone change their diet. As an epidemiological study, it does not show cause-and-effect and has other inherent weaknesses. The researchers did not control for a variety of factors including intake of other foods and nutrients including saturated fat. In addition, the high egg consumers exhibited other lifestyle and dietary patterns associated with increased health risks. In an accompanying editorial, Dr. Robert Eckel, co-chair of the Committee on Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases, comments that The study suffers from the lack of detailed dietary information that may confound the interpretation, such as patterns of dietary intake of saturated fat and trans fats.(2) This is a significant point, given that some people who eat eggs often consume them with foods high in saturated fat.
In addition, the researchers do not comment on the level of diabetes control of the subjects. Poor diabetic control is associated with an increased risk of a number of chronic diseases that also effect mortality. Moreover, it is difficult to generalize these findings to the general population because the sample was based entirely on male physicians who may behave differently than the general population.
The most credible point in the study is that the researchers demonstrated there is no relationship between egg consumption and cardiovascular disease risk. This is consistent with a comprehensi
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