Egg consumption and the risk of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality: Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study and meta-analyses

Eur J Nutr. 2019 Mar;58(2):785-796. doi: 10.1007/s00394-018-1692-3. Epub 2018 Apr 21.


Purpose: Eggs are highly nutritious but concerns over their cholesterol content have led to dietary avoidance among many. There are also important international differences in relevant dietary guidance. We conducted the first prospective study in China investigating the association of egg consumption, cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality, and a meta-analysis.

Methods: We included 28,024 participants without CVD at baseline (2003-8) in Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study. All-cause and CVD mortality were identified through record linkage. We used Cox proportional hazards regression. We followed the Meta-analysis Of Observational Studies in Epidemiology reporting guidelines.

Results: During 275,343 person-years follow-up (average 9.8 years), we found 2685 all-cause and 873 CVD deaths. We found no significant difference in all-cause mortality between higher (7+ eggs/week) and low consumption (< 1 egg/week) [adjusted hazard ratio (HR) 1.08, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.93-1.24], and mortality from CVD (0.99, 95% CI 0.76-1.27), ischemic heart disease (IHD) (0.92, 95% CI 0.63-1.36), or stroke (0.88, 95% CI 0.57-1.35). The updated meta-analyses including our results showed that 7+ eggs/week was not associated with all-cause mortality (HR 1.09, 95% CI 0.997-1.200) or IHD (HR 0.97, 95% CI 0.90-1.05), but associated with a small reduction in stroke (HR 0.91. 95% CI 0.85-0.98).

Conclusions: Eating one egg daily is not associated with increase in CVD or all-cause mortality. The small observed reduction in stroke risk needs to be confirmed. Our findings support current guidelines recommending eggs as part of a healthy diet, and should be considered in other dietary recommendations.

Keywords: Cardiovascular disease; Egg consumption; Ischemic heart disease; Mortality; Stroke.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • China / epidemiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Death
  • Diet / methods*
  • Eggs / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke / mortality
  • Surveys and Questionnaires