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BMJ. 2019 May 29;365:l1949. doi: 10.1136/bmj.l1949.

Association between consumption of ultra-processed foods and all cause mortality: SUN prospective cohort study.

Author information

1
Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Navarra, Irunlarrea 1, 31008 Pamplona, Spain.
2
Biomedical Research Centre Network on Obesity and Nutrition (CIBERobn), Spanish National Institute of Health Carlos III, Madrid, Spain.
3
IDISNA, Navarra Institute for Health Research, Pamplona, Spain.
4
Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.
5
Department of Nutrition, School of Nursing, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
6
Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Navarra, Irunlarrea 1, 31008 Pamplona, Spain mbes@unav.es.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the association between consumption of ultra-processed foods and all cause mortality.

DESIGN:

Prospective cohort study.

SETTING:

Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra (SUN) cohort of university graduates, Spain 1999-2018.

PARTICIPANTS:

19 899 participants (12 113 women and 7786 men) aged 20-91 years followed-up every two years between December 1999 and February 2014 for food and drink consumption, classified according to the degree of processing by the NOVA classification, and evaluated through a validated 136 item food frequency questionnaire.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Association between consumption of energy adjusted ultra-processed foods categorised into quarters (low, low-medium, medium-high, and high consumption) and all cause mortality, using multivariable Cox proportional hazard models.

RESULTS:

335 deaths occurred during 200 432 persons years of follow-up. Participants in the highest quarter (high consumption) of ultra-processed foods consumption had a higher hazard for all cause mortality compared with those in the lowest quarter (multivariable adjusted hazard ratio 1.62, 95% confidence interval 1.13 to 2.33) with a significant dose-response relation (P for linear trend=0.005). For each additional serving of ultra-processed foods, all cause mortality relatively increased by 18% (adjusted hazard ratio 1.18, 95% confidence interval 1.05 to 1.33).

CONCLUSIONS:

A higher consumption of ultra-processed foods (>4 servings daily) was independently associated with a 62% relatively increased hazard for all cause mortality. For each additional serving of ultra-processed food, all cause mortality increased by 18%.

STUDY REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02669602.

PMID:
31142450
PMCID:
PMC6538973
DOI:
10.1136/bmj.l1949
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Conflict of interest statement

Competing interests: All authors have completed the ICMJE uniform disclosure form at www.icmje.org/coi_disclosure.pdf and declare: no support from any organisation for the submitted work; no financial relationships with any organisations that might have an interest in the submitted work in the previous three years; no other relationships or activities that could appear to have influenced the submitted work.

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