Objective: The association of egg consumption with subclinical coronary atherosclerosis remains unknown. Our aim was to examine the association between egg consumption and prevalence of coronary artery calcium (CAC).
Methods: Cross-sectional study of 23,417 asymptomatic adult men and women without a history of cardiovascular disease (CVD) or hypercholesterolemia, who underwent a health screening examination including cardiac computed tomography for CAC scoring and completed a validated food frequency questionnaire at the Kangbuk Samsung Hospital Total Healthcare Centers, South Korea (March 2011-April 2013).
Results: The prevalence of detectable CAC (CAC score > 0) was 11.2%. In multivariable-adjusted models, CAC score ratio (95% confidence interval [CI]) comparing participants eating ≥ 7 eggs/wk to those eating < 1 egg/wk was 1.80 (1.14-2.83; P for trend = 0.003). The multivariable CAC score ratio (95% CI) associated with an increase in consumption of 1 egg/day was 1.54 (1.11-2.14). The positive association seemed to be more pronounced among participants with low vegetable intake (P for interaction = 0.02) and those with high BMI (P for interaction = 0.05). The association was attenuated and no longer significant after further adjustment for dietary cholesterol.
Conclusion: Egg consumption was associated with an increased prevalence of subclinical coronary atherosclerosis and with a greater degree of coronary calcification in asymptomatic Korean adults, which may be mediated by dietary cholesterol. The association was particularly pronounced among individuals with low vegetable intake and those with high BMI.
Keywords: Coronary artery calcium score; Coronary artery disease; Egg consumption.
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