Skipping Breakfast Tied to Subclinical Atherosclerosis — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
October 3, 2017

Skipping Breakfast Tied to Subclinical Atherosclerosis

By Amy Orciari Herman

Edited by David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH, and Jaye Elizabeth Hefner, MD

Adults who regularly skip breakfast are more likely to have subclinical atherosclerosis, according to a cross-sectional study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Over 4000 asymptomatic, middle-aged Spanish adults without a history of cardiovascular disease completed dietary questionnaires and underwent atherosclerotic plaque assessment via ultrasound. Some 3% were considered breakfast skippers (<5% of daily calories at breakfast), 28% were high-energy-breakfast consumers (>20% of daily calories), and the rest fell in between.

After adjustment for confounders such as age, waist circumference, diabetes, and smoking, breakfast skippers were significantly more likely than high-energy consumers to have plaque in the abdominal aorta (odds ratio, 1.79), carotid artery (OR, 1.76), and iliofemoral artery (OR, 1.72).

The researchers hypothesize that skipping breakfast "might serve as a marker for a general unhealthy diet or lifestyle, which in turn is associated with the development and progression of atherosclerosis."

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