Moderate egg consumption and all-cause and specific-cause mortality in the Spanish European Prospective into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-Spain) study

Eur J Nutr. 2019 Aug;58(5):2003-2010. doi: 10.1007/s00394-018-1754-6. Epub 2018 Jun 15.


Purpose: Dietary guidelines for egg consumption for general population differ among public health agencies. Our aim was to investigate the association between egg intake and both all-cause and specific-cause of mortality in a Mediterranean population.

Methods: The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-Spain cohort included 40,621 men and women aged 29-69 years old in the nineties from 5 Spanish regions. After a mean of 18 years of follow-up, 3,561 deaths were recorded, of which 1,694 were from cancer, 761 from CVD, and 870 from other causes. Data on egg consumption was collected using a validated diet history at recruitment. Cox proportional hazards models, adjusted for confounders, were used in the analyses.

Results: The mean (standard deviation) egg consumption was 22.0 g/day (15.8) and 30.9 g/day (23.1) in women and men, respectively. No association was observed between egg consumption and all-cause mortality for the highest vs the lowest quartile (HR 1.01; 95% CI 0.91-1.11; P trend = 0.96). Likewise, no association was observed with cancer and cardiovascular diseases mortality. However, an inverse association was found between egg consumption and deaths for other causes (HR 0.76; 95% CI 0.63-0.93; P trend = 0.003), particularly for deaths from the nervous system (HR 0.59; 95% CI 0.35-1.00; P trend = 0.036). No interaction was detected with the adherence to Mediterranean diet.

Conclusions: This study shows no association between moderate egg consumption, up to 1 egg per day, and main causes of mortality in a large free-living Mediterranean population.

Keywords: Cohort; EPIC-Spain; Egg; Intake; Mortality.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Eggs / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Surveys / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality*
  • Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Nutritional Status
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Spain / epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires