Incident heart failure is associated with lower whole-grain intake and greater high-fat dairy and egg intake in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study

J Am Diet Assoc. 2008 Nov;108(11):1881-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2008.08.015.


Background: Prospective studies evaluating associations between food intake and risk of heart failure (HF) in diverse populations are needed.

Objectives: Relationships between incident HF (death or hospitalization) and intake of seven food categories (whole grains, fruits/vegetables, fish, nuts, high-fat dairy, eggs, red meat) were investigated in an observational cohort of 14,153 African-American and white adults, age 45 to 64 years, sampled from four US communities.

Methods: Between baseline (1987-1989) and Exam 3 (1993-1995), dietary intake was based on responses to a 66-item food frequency questionnaire administered at baseline; thereafter, intake was based on averaged baseline and Exam 3 responses. Hazard ratios (HR [95% CI]) for HF were calculated per 1-daily serving difference in food group intake.

Results: During a mean of 13 years, 1,140 HF hospitalizations were identified. After multivariable adjustment (energy intake, demographics, lifestyle factors, prevalent cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension), HF risk was lower with greater whole-grain intake (0.93 [0.87, 0.99]), but HF risk was higher with greater intake of eggs (1.23 [1.08, 1.41]) and high-fat dairy (1.08 [1.01, 1.16]). These associations remained significant independent of intakes of the five other food categories, which were not associated with HF.

Conclusions: In this large, population-based sample of African-American and white adults, whole-grain intake was associated with lower HF risk, whereas intake of eggs and high-fat dairy were associated with greater HF risk after adjustment for several confounders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Atherosclerosis / epidemiology
  • Atherosclerosis / ethnology
  • Atherosclerosis / etiology
  • Black or African American / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Dairy Products / adverse effects
  • Dairy Products / analysis
  • Diet Surveys
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fats / adverse effects*
  • Edible Grain*
  • Eggs / adverse effects
  • Eggs / analysis
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Failure / epidemiology*
  • Heart Failure / ethnology
  • Heart Failure / etiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Meat / adverse effects
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • White People / statistics & numerical data*


  • Dietary Fats