Potato consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease: 2 prospective cohort studies

Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Nov;104(5):1245-1252. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.116.142422. Epub 2016 Sep 28.


Background: Whether consumption of potatoes, which are rich in potassium and have a high glycemic index and glycemic load, is associated with the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) is unknown.

Objective: The aim was to examine the association between potato consumption and risk of total and specific CVD events as well as mortality from CVD in 2 prospective cohorts of Swedish adults, a population with a high consumption of potatoes.

Design: Information on potato consumption was available from 69,313 men and women, free of CVD and diabetes, in the Cohort of Swedish Men and the Swedish Mammography Cohort. Nonfatal and fatal cases of CVD diagnosed over 13 y of follow-up were identified by linkage with the Swedish National Patient and Cause of Death Registers. Analyses were conducted by using a Cox proportional hazards regression model, controlled for potential confounders.

Results: We ascertained 10,147 major CVD events [myocardial infarction (MI), heart failure (HF), and stroke] and 4003 deaths due to CVD. Total potato consumption was not associated with the risk of major CVD events, specific CVD endpoints, or CVD mortality in either men or women. Multivariable HRs (95% CIs) per an increment of 3 servings/wk of total potato consumption (boiled potatoes, fried potatoes, and French fries) were 1.00 (0.97, 1.02) for major CVD events, 1.01 (0.97, 1.04) for MI, 0.97 (0.93, 1.02) for HF, 1.01 (0.97, 1.05) for stroke, and 0.99 (0.95, 1.03) for CVD mortality. There were no significant trends between the consumption of boiled potatoes, fried potatoes, or French fries and risk of any CVD outcome.

Conclusion: Potato consumption was not associated with the risk of CVD in this population. The Swedish Mammography Cohort and the Cohort of Swedish Men are registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01127698 and NCT01127711, respectively.

Keywords: cardiovascular disease; heart failure; myocardial infarction; potatoes; prospective studies; stroke.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glycemic Index
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Solanum tuberosum / adverse effects*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden / epidemiology

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01127698
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01127711