Association between milk and yogurt intake and mortality: a community-based cohort study (Yamagata study)

BMC Nutr. 2021 Jul 14;7(1):33. doi: 10.1186/s40795-021-00435-1.


Background: Dairy products are known as health-promoting foods. This study prospectively examined the association between milk and yogurt intake and mortality in a community-based population.

Methods: The study population comprised of 14,264 subjects aged 40-74 years who participated in an annual health checkup. The frequency of yogurt and milk intake was categorized as none (< 1/month), low (< 1/week), moderate (1-6/week), and high (> 1/day) intake. The association between yogurt and milk intake and total, cardiovascular, and cancer-related mortalities was determined using the Cox proportional hazards model.

Results: During the follow-up period, there were 265 total deaths, 40 cardiovascular deaths and 90 cancer-related deaths. Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that the total mortality in high/moderate/low yogurt intake and moderate/low milk intake groups was lower than that in none group (log-rank, P < 0.01). In the multivariate Cox proportional hazard analysis adjusted for possible confounders, the hazard ratio (HR) for total mortality significantly decreased in high/moderate yogurt intake group (HR: 0.62, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.42-0.91 for high intake, HR: 0.70, 95%CI: 0.49-0.99 for moderate intake) and moderate milk intake group (HR: 0.67, 95% CI: 0.46-0.97) compared with the none yogurt and milk intake groups. A similar association was observed for cancer-related mortality, but not for cardiovascular mortality.

Conclusions: Our study showed that yogurt and milk intake was independently associated with a decrease in total and cancer-related mortalities in the Japanese population.

Keywords: Dairy products; Milk; Mortality; Yogurt.