High protein diet associated with small increased heart failure risk in middle-aged men

May 29, 2018, American Heart Association
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

For middle-aged men, eating higher amounts of protein was associated with a slightly elevated risk for heart failure than those who ate less protein, according to new research in Circulation: Heart Failure, an American Heart Association journal.

Despite the popularity of , there is little research about how diets high in might impact men's risk.

"As many people seem to take the health benefits of high-protein diets for granted, it is important to make clear the possible risks and benefits of these diets," said Jyrki Virtanen, Ph.D., study author and an adjunct professor of nutritional epidemiology at the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio. "Earlier studies had linked diets high in protein—especially from animal sources—with increased risks of Type 2 diabetes and even death."

The American Heart Association estimates that one in five Americans 40 and older will develop heart failure—the body is unable to pump enough blood and oxygen to remain healthy. Heart failure can shorten life expectancy. And with no cure, preventing heart failure through , lifestyle and more is vital.

Researchers studied 2,441 men, age 42 to 60, at the study's start and followed them for an average 22 years. Overall, researchers found 334 cases of heart failure were diagnosed during the study and 70 percent of the protein consumed was from animal sources and 27.7 percent from plant sources. Higher intake of protein from most dietary sources, was associated with slightly higher risk. Only proteins from fish and eggs were not associated with heart failure risk in this study, researchers said.

For this study, researchers divided the men into four groups based on their daily protein consumption. When they compared men who ate the most protein to those who ate the least, they found their risk of heart failure was:

  • 33 percent higher for all sources of protein;
  • 43 percent higher for animal protein;
  • 49 percent higher for dairy protein.
  • 17 percent higher for plant protein.

"As this is one of the first studies reporting on the association between and heart failure risk, more research is needed before we know whether moderating protein intake may be beneficial in the prevention of heart failure," said Heli E.K. Virtanen, M.Sc., first author of study, Ph.D. student and early career researcher at the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio. "Long-term interventions comparing diets with differential protein compositions and emphasizing differential protein sources would be important to reveal possible effects of on risk factors of failure. More research is also needed in other study populations."

The American Heart Association recommends a dietary pattern that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish, beans, non-tropical vegetable oils and nuts; and limits intake of sweets, sugar-sweetened beverages and red meats.

Explore further: Heart failure patients with a higher protein intake live longer

More information: Circulation: Heart Failure, DOI: 10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.117.004531

Related Stories

Heart failure patients with a higher protein intake live longer

May 27, 2018
Heart failure patients who consume more protein live longer, according to research presented today at Heart Failure 2018 and the World Congress on Acute Heart Failure, a European Society of Cardiology congress.

Plant protein may protect against type 2 diabetes, meat eaters at greater risk

April 19, 2017
A new study from the University of Eastern Finland adds to the growing body of evidence indicating that the source of dietary protein may play a role in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The researchers found that plant ...

Mostly meat, high protein diet linked to heart failure in older women

November 14, 2016
Women over the age of 50 who follow a high-protein diet could be at higher risk for heart failure, especially if much of their protein comes from meat, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association's ...

In LVSD, diabetes tied to higher risk of heart failure

April 20, 2018
(HealthDay)—In patients with asymptomatic left ventricular systolic dysfunction, diabetes is associated with an increased risk of developing heart failure, according to a study published online April 6 in Diabetes Care.

Plant-based diet associated with lower heart failure risk

November 14, 2017
Eating a mostly plant-based diet was associated with less risk of developing heart failure among people without previously diagnosed heart disease or heart failure, according to preliminary research presented at the American ...

No higher cancer risk seen for heart failure patients

April 12, 2018
(HealthDay)—Heart failure is not associated with an increased risk of cancer, according to a study published in the April 10 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Recommended for you

The molecules that energize babies' hearts

June 14, 2018
A metabolic process that provides heart muscle with energy fails to mature in newborns with thickened heart walls, according to a Japan–Canada research team.

Tobacco aside, e-cigarette flavorings may harm blood vessels

June 14, 2018
Flavor additives used in electronic cigarettes and related tobacco products could impair blood vessel function and may be an early indicator of heart damage, according to new laboratory research in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis ...

Scientists identify enzyme responsible for vascular damage caused by aircraft noise

June 14, 2018
In a recent study, scientists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) have identified an enzyme responsible for aircraft-related vascular damage. The researchers were also able to show that nighttime noise has a particularly ...

World-first test could predict risk of heart attack in coronary artery disease patients

June 14, 2018
Researchers have developed a world-first blood test which improves the prediction of the long-term risk of heart attack or death in those with severe coronary artery disease.

Surgical blood transfusions tied to clot risk

June 13, 2018
(HealthDay)—Blood transfusions around the time of surgery may raise your risk for dangerous blood clots, researchers say.

Massive study sheds light on the genetic roots of atrial fibrillation

June 12, 2018
Patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), a condition causing a rapid, irregular heart rate that can increase the risk of stroke, could use some new treatment options. Despite how common the condition is, the current treatment ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.