Skipping breakfast may increase your risk for cardiovascular disease.
The connection, found in a study of 6,550 adults aged 65 to 75, was particularly strong for stroke.
Almost 60 percent of the participants had breakfast every day, a quarter on some days, and 16 percent rarely or never. All were free of heart disease at the start of the study. Over an average 17 years of follow-up there were 2,318 deaths, including 619 from cardiovascular diseases.
People who never ate breakfast were more likely to be obese and have high cholesterol, but the observational study, in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, controlled for these and many other health, behavioral and socioeconomic factors.
Compared with those who had breakfast every day, those who skipped the meal had an 87 percent increased risk for death from any cardiovascular disease and a 19 percent increased risk for all-cause death. Breakfast skippers had a 59 percent increased risk of developing heart disease, and more than triple the risk of stroke.
“Many studies have shown that skipping breakfast is related to a higher risk of diabetes, hypertension” and high cholesterol, said the lead author, Dr. Wei Bao, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Iowa. “Our study suggests that eating breakfast could be a simple way to promote cardiovascular health.