Association of egg consumption and calcified atherosclerotic plaque in the coronary arteries: The NHLBI Family Heart Study

Jeremy M. Robbins, Andrew B. Petrone, R. Curtis Ellison, Steven C. Hunt, J. Jeffrey Carr, Gerardo Heiss, Donna K. Arnett, J. Michael Gaziano, Luc Djoussé

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background and aims: Eggs are a ubiquitous and important source of dietary cholesterol and nutrients, yet their relationship to coronary heart disease (CHD) remains unclear. While some data have suggested a positive association between egg consumption and CHD, especially among diabetic subjects, limited data exist on the influence of egg consumption on subclinical disease. Thus, we sought to examine whether egg consumption is associated with calcified atherosclerotic plaques in the coronary arteries. Methods: In a cross-sectional design, we studied 1848 participants of the NHLBI Family Heart Study without known CHD. Egg consumption was assessed by a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire and coronary-artery calcium (CAC) was measured by cardiac CT. We defined prevalent CAC using an Agatston score of at least 100 and fitted generalized estimating equations to calculate prevalence odds ratios of CAC. Results: Mean age was 56.5 years and 41% were male. Median consumption of eggs was 1/week. There was no association between frequency of egg consumption and prevalent CAC. Odds ratios (95% CI) for CAC were 1.0 (reference), 0.95 (0.66-1.38), 0.94 (0.63-1.40), and 0.90 (0.57-1.42) for egg consumption of almost never, 1-3 times per month, once per week, and 2+ times per week, respectively (p for trend 0.66), adjusting for age, sex, BMI, smoking, alcohol, physical activity, income, field center, total calories, and bacon. Additional control for hypertension and diabetes mellitus, or restricting the analysis to subjects with diabetes mellitus or fasting glucose >126mg/dL did not alter the findings. Conclusions: These data do not provide evidence for an association between egg consumption and prevalent CAC in adult men and women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e131-e135
Journale-SPEN Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by grants from the National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute ( U01 HL56563, U01 HL56564, U01 HL56565, U01 HL56566, U01 HL56567, U01 HL56568, and U01 HL56569 ).


  • Atherosclerosis
  • CAC
  • CHD
  • CI
  • CT
  • CVD
  • Coronary calcium
  • Diet
  • Egg
  • Epidemiology
  • HDL
  • LDL
  • Subclinical disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Association of egg consumption and calcified atherosclerotic plaque in the coronary arteries: The NHLBI Family Heart Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this