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Dairy product intake not associated with mortality

25 Nov 2019

Consumption of milk and other dairy products does not appear to increase the risk of mortality from cancer and cardiovascular disease, among other causes, according to a recent study involving an Italian cohort characterized by low to average milk consumption.

Of the 45,009 participants, 2,468 died after a median follow-up of 14.9 years (59 percent from cancer and 19 percent from cardiovascular disease). In the fully-adjusted models, consumption of any dairy product did not correlate with mortality.

In contrast, all-cause mortality decreased by 25 percent with milk intake from 160 to 120 g/d (hazard ratio [HR], 0.75, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.61–0.91) but not with the highest (>200 g/d) category of intake (HR, 0.95, 95 percent CI, 0.84–1.08) as compared with nonconsumption.

The associations between consumption of full-fat and reduced-fat milk and all-cause and cause-specific mortality were comparable to those for milk as a whole.

This study examined the relations of consumption of various dairy products with mortality in the Italian cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)–Italy study. Validated semiquantitative food frequency questionnaires were used to assess the participants’ consumption of dairy products.

The investigators estimated the association of milk (ie, total, full fat and reduced fat), yogurt, cheese, butter and dairy calcium consumption with mortality for cancer, cardiovascular disease and all causes using multivariable Cox models stratified by age, sex, centre and adjusted for confounders. Nonlinearity was tested using restricted cubic spline regression.

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