Skipping Breakfast Tied To Heart Attack, Coronary Heart Disease Risk

Why You Shouldn't Skip Breakfast
healthy breakfast on wooden...
healthy breakfast on wooden...

Here's a good reason to eat breakfast every morning: It could keep your heart risks low, according to a new study.

Research published in the journal Circulation shows an association between regularly skipping breakfast and having a higher risk of experiencing a heart attack or having fatal heart disease.

That's because "skipping breakfast may lead to one or more risk factors, including obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, which may in turn lead to a heart attack over time," study researcher Leah E. Cahill, Ph.D., a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, said in a statement.

For the study, researchers examined food frequency questionnaires taken over a 16-year period by 26,903 men between ages 45 and 82. Over that time period, 1,572 men experienced a cardiac event for the first time.

Researchers found an association between skipping breakfast and having a 27 percent higher risk of dying from coronary heart disease or experiencing a heart attack. This held true after taking into account other heart risk factors including sedentary activity, exercise, sleep, alcohol intake, smoking status, diet, body mass index and medical history.

There was also a link between timing of eating and heart disease. Specifically, they found that those who ate right before bedtime had 55 percent higher risks of coronary heart disease.

Skipping breakfast isn't uncommon; a recent survey from the NPD Group showed that approximately 10 percent of Americans don't eat breakfast, with men being more likely to skip breakfast than women.

Feel too rushed in the mornings to eat? Breakfast doesn't have to be a huge thing -- check out these step-by-step instructions for making a "Quick-Trick-Snack-Pack" for fuss-free a.m. eating.

And for more reasons not to skip breakfast, click through the slideshow:

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