According to a new study published Monday in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, skipping breakfast is significantly associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular-related death, especially stroke.
The study took the age, sex, race, socioeconomic status, diet, lifestyle, body mass index (BMI), and disease status into consideration. It has found that those who skipped breakfast had an 87 percent risk of cardiovascular death compared to those who had breakfast on a daily basis.
Dr. Wei Bao, a senior study author and an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, said, “Breakfast is traditionally believed as the most or at least one of the most important meals of the day, but there are not much data available to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to this belief. Our paper is among the ones that provide evidence to support long-term benefits.”
“There are a few cardiovascular risk factors — for example diabetes, hypertension and lipid disorders,” Dr. Bao said. “Our findings are in line with and supported by previous studies that consistently showed that skipping breakfast is related to those strong risk factors for cardiovascular death.”
The WHO said cardiovascular-related disease, specifically stroke and heart attack, is one of the leading causes of death in the world, which has accounted for a total of 15.2 million deaths in 2016.
The study analyzed 6,550 US adults, aged 40 to 75, from 1988 to 1994, who reported how often they had their breakfast.
The researchers looked at how often each person had breakfast and at their mortality rate, specifically whether it was related to cardiovascular health.
According to the study, adults who skipped breakfast daily were at a higher risk of cardiovascular-related death and stroke-related death than those who consumed breakfast every day.
The researchers wrote, “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first prospective analysis of skipping breakfast and risk of cardiovascular mortality.”
However, the study had a few limitations; for instance, the data did not include information about the types of foods or drinks that were consumed for breakfast during the study.
The study found only a link between skipping breakfast and a higher risk of early death. So experts opine that more research is needed to determine whether skipping breakfast actually could decrease your life expectancy and why such a link exists. The study, in general, also noted that skipping breakfast is associated with an increased risk of obesity, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.