The objective of this study was to evaluate the association of chocolate consumption and heart failure (HF) in a large population of Swedish men.
Methods: We conducted a prospective cohort study of 31,917 men 45-79 years old with no history of myocardial infarction, diabetes, or HF at baseline who were participants in the population-based Cohort of Swedish Men study. Chocolate consumption was assessed through a self-administrated food frequency questionnaire. Participants were followed for HF hospitalization or mortality from January 1, 1998, to December 31, 2011, using record linkage to the Swedish inpatient and cause-of-death registries.
Results: During 14 years of follow-up, 2,157 men were hospitalized (n=1,901) or died from incident HF (n=256). Compared with subjects who reported no chocolate intake, the multivariable-adjusted rate ratio of HF was 0.88 (95% CI 0.78-0.99) for those consuming 1-3 servings per month, 0.83 (95% CI 0.72-0.94) for those consuming 1-2 servings per week, 0.82 (95% CI 0.68-0.99) for those consuming 3-6 servings per week, and 1.10 (95% CI 0.84-1.45) for those consuming ≥1 serving per day (P for quadratic trend=.001).
Conclusions: In this large prospective cohort study, there was a J-shaped relationship between chocolate consumption and HF incidence. Moderate chocolate consumption was associated with a lower rate of HF hospitalization or death, but the protective association was not observed among individuals consuming ≥1 serving per day. Journal Subject Codes: Etiology: Epidemiology, Heart failure: Congestive.
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