Evening eating may worsen heart health in women
PHILADELPHIA — Women who consumed a higher proportion of their daily calories after 6 p.m. had poorer overall CV health and higher BP, BMI and HbA1c levels, researchers reported at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions.
“Our findings indicate that earlier timing and lower percentage of daily calories consumed during evening meals may represent a modifiable behavior to lower risk of heart disease,” Nour Makarem, PhD, associate research scientist in the division of cardiology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, told Healio. “Therefore, intentional eating that is mindful of meal timing, particularly regarding the evening meal, may be an important strategy to prevent heart disease.”
Researchers analyzed data from a subset of 112 women (mean age, 33 years; 44% Hispanic) from the AHA’s Go Red for Women Strategically Focused Research Network. All women completed a food record for 1 week at baseline and then at 1 year. The researchers used time-stamped diet data to calculate caloric intake after 6 p.m. and after 8 p.m. The AHA Life’s Simple 7 score was calculated to assess overall CV health.
Every 1% increase in caloric consumption after 8 p.m. at baseline was associated with a lower Life’s Simple 7 score (beta = –0.03; P = .016) and higher diastolic BP (beta = 0.18; P = .004).
When 1-year data were assessed, every 1% increase in caloric intake after 6 p.m. was associated with a lower Life’s Simple 7 Score (beta = –0.12; P < .001), higher systolic BP (beta = 0.59; P < .001) and diastolic BP (beta = 0.67; P < .0001), higher BMI (beta = 0.17; P = .029) and higher HbA1c level (beta = 0.03; P = .033). A lower score on the Life’s Simple 7 (beta = –0.13; P < .001) and a higher diastolic BP (beta = 0.33; P = .014) were also observed with each 1% increase in caloric intake after 8 p.m.
Mixed-model repeated measures analyses found that caloric intake after 8 p.m. was linked to a higher diastolic BP (beta = 0.15; P < .01).
The strongest associations between evening caloric intake and BP were seen in Hispanic women (P < .01), according to the researchers.
Looking ahead, “we need large, population-based studies that evaluate the association of meal timing with cardiometabolic risk factors and also with risk of developing heart disease,” Makarem said in an interview. “We also need to better understand racial/ethnic and potential sex differences in these associations across adulthood. Future research may also include clinical trials to determine the effect of altering meal timing on risk for heart disease.” – by Darlene Dobkowski
Makarem N, et al. Presentation 176. Nutrition: Novel Insights and Controversies. Presented at: American Heart Association Scientific Sessions; Nov. 16-18, 2019; Philadelphia.
Disclosures: Makarem reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the abstract for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.