Background: Nut consumption has been found to be inversely associated with cardiovascular disease mortality, but the association between nut consumption and incidence of specific cardiovascular diseases is unclear. We examined the association between nut consumption and incidence of seven cardiovascular diseases.
Methods: This prospective study included 61 364 Swedish adults who had completed a Food Frequency Questionnaire and were followed up for 17 years through linkage with the Swedish National Patient and Death Registers.
Results: Nut consumption was inversely associated with risk of myocardial infarction, heart failure, atrial fibrillation and abdominal aortic aneurysm in the age-adjusted and sex-adjusted analysis. However, adjustment for multiple risk factors attenuated these associations and only a linear, dose-response, association with atrial fibrillation (ptrend=0.004) and a non-linear association (pnon-linearity=0.003) with heart failure remained. Compared with no consumption of nuts, the multivariable HRs (95% CI) of atrial fibrillation across categories of nut consumption were 0.97 (0.93 to 1.02) for 1-3 times/month, 0.88 (0.79 to 0.99) for 1-2 times/week and 0.82 (0.68 to 0.99) for ≥3 times/week. For heart failure, the corresponding HRs (95% CI) were 0.87 (0.80 to 0.94), 0.80 (0.67 to 0.97) and 0.98 (0.76 to 1.27). Nut consumption was not associated with risk of aortic valve stenosis, ischaemic stroke or intracerebral haemorrhage.
Conclusions: These findings suggest that nut consumption or factors associated with this nutritional behaviour may play a role in reducing the risk of atrial fibrillation and possibly heart failure.
Keywords: acute myocardial infarction; aortic aneurysm; aortic stenosis; atrial fibrillation; heart failure.
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