Consumption of fried foods and risk of heart failure in the physicians' health study

J Am Heart Assoc. 2015 Apr 23;4(4):e001740. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.114.001740.


Background: Consumption of fried foods is highly prevalent in the Western dietary pattern. Though limited studies have reported a positive association between frequency of fried food intake and risk of coronary artery disease, diabetes, or hypertension, other investigators failed to report such an association. It is unclear whether intake of fried foods is associated with a higher risk of heart failure (HF). Hence, we sought to examine the association between the frequency of fried food consumption and the risk of HF.

Methods and results: This was a prospective cohort study of 15 362 participants from the Physicians' Health Study. Fried food intake frequency was assessed by a food frequency questionnaire (1997-2001), and incident HF was captured by annual questionnaires. We used Cox regression to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) of HF. After an average follow-up of 9.6 ± 2.4 years, a total of 632 new HF cases occurred in this cohort. Compared to subjects who reported fried food consumption of <1 per week, HRs (95% CI) for HF were 1.24 (1.04 to 1.48), 1.28 (1.00 to 1.63), and 2.03 (1.37 to 3.02) for fried food intake of 1 to 3/week, 4 to 6/week, and 7+/week, respectively, after adjustment for age, energy intake, alcohol use, exercise, smoking, and overall diet score (P linear trend, 0.0002). Similar results were obtained for intake of fried foods at home or away from home and among subjects with higher dietary score or HF without antecedent myocardial infarction.

Conclusions: Our data are consistent with a positive association of fried food intake frequency with incident HF in male physicians.

Keywords: diet; epidemiology; heart failure; risk factor.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Diet / adverse effects*
  • Dietary Fats / adverse effects
  • Heart Failure / epidemiology
  • Heart Failure / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Physicians / statistics & numerical data
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Dietary Fats