Lifestyle & Belief

Skipping breakfast could lead to increased risk of heart attack, study says


A package of bacon is displayed on a shelf at United Market on Aug. 17, 2010 in San Rafael, Calif.


Justin Sullivan

There are plenty of reasons not to skip breakfast and now researchers have discovered another: new findings show that skipping breakfast could lead to an increased risk of heart attack.

The study looked at the eating habits of about 27,000 men aged 45 or over in 1992.

About 13 percent of the men, who were all educated healthcare professionals, said they skipped breakfast regularly.

After 16 years, 1,527 suffered fatal or non-fatal heart attacks, around 171 of them men who had said they didn't eat a morning meal.

This means that about seven percent of men who skipped breakfast had heart attacks, compared to six percent who ate breakfast.

Researchers calculated that older males had a 27-percent-higher risk of dying of a heart problem within 16 years of the first assessment if they skipped breakfast regularly, when all other factors were considered.

“We've focused so much on the quality of food and what kind of diet everyone should be eating, and we don't talk as often on the manner of eating," said Suzanne Steinbaum, a preventive cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, according to HealthDay.

"This study is not even discussing the type of food. It's just talking about behavior and lifestyle choice. Part of heart-healthy living is eating breakfast because that prevents you from doing a lot of other unhealthy things."

The new findings were published in the journal Circulation.