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Chocolate consumption and risk of heart failure in the Physicians’ Health Study

Posted December 1, 2014
This news or article is intended for readers with certain scientific or professional knowledge in the field.

The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that chocolate consumption is associated with a lower risk of heart failure (HF).


We prospectively studied 20 278 men from the Physicians’ Health Study. Chocolate consumption was assessed between 1999 and 2002 via a self-administered food frequency questionnaire and HF was ascertained through annual follow-up questionnaires with validation in a subsample.

We used Cox regression to estimate multivariable adjusted relative risk of HF. During a mean follow-up of 9.3 years there were 876 new cases of HF. The mean age at baseline was 66.4 ± 9.2 years. Hazard ratios [95% confidence intervals (CI)] for HF were 1.0 (ref), 0.86 (0.72-1.03), 0.80 (0.66-0.98), 0.92 (0.74-1.13), and 0.82 (0.63-1.07), for chocolate consumption of less than 1/month, 1-3/week, 2-4/week, and 5+/week, respectively, after adjusting for age, body mass index (BMI), smoking, alcohol, exercise, energy intake, and history of atrial fibrillation (P for quadratic trend = 0.62).

In a secondary analysis, chocolate consumption was inversely associated with risk of HF in men whose BMI was <25 kg/m(2) [HR (95% CI) = 0.59 (0.37-0.94) for consumption of 5+ servings/week, P for linear trend = 0.03) but not in those with BMI of 25+ kg/m(2) [HR (95% CI) = 1.01 (0.73-1.39), P for linear trend = 0.42, P for interaction = 0.17).


Our data suggest that moderate consumption of chocolate might be associated with a lower risk of HF in male physicians.

Source: Eur J Heart Fail. 2014 Dec;16(12):1372-6. doi: 10.1002/ejhf.180. Epub 2014 Oct 14.

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