Background

The associations between specific types of nuts, specifically peanuts and walnuts, and cardiovascular disease remain unclear.

Objective

The authors sought to analyze the associations between the intake of total and specific types of nuts and cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, and strike risk.

Method

The authors included 76,364 women from the Nurses’ Health Study (1980 to 2012), 92,946 women from the Nurses’ Health Study II (1991 to 2013), and 41,526 men from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (1986 to 2012) who were free of cancer, heart disease, and stroke at baseline. Nut consumption was assessed using food frequency questionnaires at baseline and was updated every 4 years.

Result

During 5,063,439 person-years of follow-up, the authors documented 14,136 incident cardiovascular disease cases, including 8,390 coronary heart diseases and 5,910 stroke cases. Total nut consumption was inversely associated with total cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease after adjustment for cardiovascular risk factors. The pooled multivariable hazard ratios for cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease among participants who consumed 1 serving of nuts (28 g) 5 or more times per week, compared with the reference category (never or almost never), were 0.86 (95% confidence interval: 0.79 to 0.93; p for trend = 0.0002) and 0.80 (95% confidence interval: 0.72 to 0.89; p for trend <0.001), respectively. Consumption of peanuts and tree nuts (2 or more times/week) and walnuts (1 or more times/week) was associated with a 13% to 19% lower risk of total cardiovascular disease and 15% to 23% lower risk of coronary heart disease.

Conclusion

In 3 large prospective cohort studies, higher consumption of total and specific types of nuts was inversely associated with total cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease.

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