Potato Consumption and All-Cause and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality - A Long-Term Follow-Up of a Norwegian Cohort

J Nutr. 2024 May 18:S0022-3166(24)00288-8. doi: 10.1016/j.tjnut.2024.05.011. Online ahead of print.


Background: Potatoes are a staple food in many traditional cuisines, yet their impact on long-term risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mortality is unclear, hampering evidence-based dietary guidelines.

Objectives: This study aimed to examine the association between potato consumption and all-cause and CVD-specific death over a substantial follow-up period within a cohort predominantly consuming boiled potatoes.

Methods: Adults from 3 Norwegian counties were invited to 3 health screenings in 1974-1988 (>80% attendance). Dietary data were collected using semiquantitative food frequency questionnaires at each screening to categorize weekly potato consumption (≤6, 7-13, or ≥14 potatoes/wk) and calculate daily cumulative mean intakes (grams/day). Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using multivariable Cox regression to estimate HRs and 95% CIs for the association between potato consumption and risk of death from all causes, CVD, ischemic heart disease (IHD), and acute myocardial infarction (AMI).

Results: Among 77,297 participants with a mean baseline age of 41.1 y (range: 18.0-63.9 y), we observed 27,848 deaths, including 9072 deaths due to CVD, over a median follow-up of 33.5 y. Participants who consumed ≥14 potatoes/wk had a lower risk of all-cause death compared with those consuming ≤6 potatoes/wk (HR: 0.88; 95% CI: 0.84, 0.93). Potato consumption was associated with a minor, inverse risk of death due to CVD, IHD, and AMI. In continuous analyses of cumulative intakes, each 100 g/d increment was associated with 4% lower risk of death from all causes (HR: 0.96; 95% CI: 0.94, 0.98), CVD (HR: 0.96; 95% CI: 0.93, 0.99), IHD (HR: 0.96; 95% CI: 0.91, 1.00), and AMI (HR: 0.96, 95% CI: 0.91, 1.01).

Conclusions: In this cohort with a generally high consumption of predominantly boiled potatoes, we find modest, inverse associations between potato consumption and death from all causes, CVD, and IHD.

Keywords: Solanum tuberosum; all-cause mortality; cardiovascular disease; cohort study; epidemiology; potatoes.