Hongyu Wu, Ph.D., of the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, and coauthors examined the association between eating whole grains and the risk of death using data from two large studies: 74,341 women from the Nurses' Health Study (1984-2010) and 43,744 men from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (1986-2010). All the participants were free of cancer and CVD when the studies began.
The authors documented 26,920 deaths. After the data were adjusted for potential confounding factors including age, smoking and body mass index, the study found that eating more whole grains was associated with lower total mortality and lower CVD mortality but not cancer deaths. The authors further estimated that every serving (28 grams/per day) of whole grains was associated with 5 percent lower total mortality or 9 percent lower CVD mortality.
The study is published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.