Consumption of nuts and risk of total and cause-specific mortality over 15 years

Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2015 Dec;25(12):1125-31. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2015.09.006. Epub 2015 Sep 25.


Background and aims: The published literature shows that nut consumption has a favorable impact on health. We aimed to assess the association between nut consumption and risk of 15-year total mortality, and mortality from cardiovascular disease (CVD) (including ischemic heart disease, IHD, and stroke), and cancer.

Methods and results: Prospective analyses involved 2893 participants aged ≥49 years at baseline. Dietary data were collected by using a semi-quantitative food-frequency questionnaire, and nut intakes were calculated. Deaths and cause of death were confirmed by data linkage with the Australian National Death Index. Over 15 years, 1044 participants had died, of these 430 had died from stroke and another 430 had died from IHD. Participants in the second tertile of nut consumption versus those in the first tertile of intake had reduced risk of total mortality: multivariable-adjusted HR 0.76 (95% CI 0.65-0.89). Participants in the second tertile compared to those in the first tertile had 24% and 23% reduced risk of 15-year CVD and IHD mortality, respectively. Associations were more marked in women compared to men. Women in the second versus first tertile of nut consumption had 27%, 39%, 34% and 49% reduced risk of death from all causes (n = 489), CVD (n = 258), IHD (n = 188) and stroke mortality (n = 101), respectively.

Conclusions: Nut consumption was independently associated with a decreased risk of overall and vascular-disease mortality, particularly in women.

Keywords: Blue Mountains Eye Study; Cardiovascular disease; Mortality; Nut consumption; Older adults.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Australia
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diet therapy*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Cause of Death*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diet, Mediterranean*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Ischemia / diet therapy
  • Myocardial Ischemia / mortality
  • Myocardial Ischemia / prevention & control
  • Neoplasms / diet therapy
  • Neoplasms / mortality
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Nuts*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sex Factors
  • Stroke / diet therapy
  • Stroke / mortality
  • Stroke / prevention & control
  • Survival Analysis