Habitual Night Eating Was Positively Associated With Progress of Arterial Stiffness in Chinese Adults

Xinyuan Zhang, Yuntao Wu, Muzi Na, Alice H. Lichtenstein, Aijun Xing, Shuohua Chen, Shouling Wu, Xiang Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Night eating has been associated with an elevated risk of obesity, dyslipidemia, and cardiovascular disease. However, there is no longitudinal study on whether habitual night eating, regardless of diet quality and energy intake, is associated with arterial stiffness, a major etiological factor in the development of cardiovascular disease. Methods and Results The study included 7771 adult participants without cardiovascular disease, cancer, or diabetes mellitus prior to dietary assessment by a validated food frequency questionnaire in 2014 through 2015. Participants were categorized into 3 groups based on self-reported night-eating habits: never or rarely, some days (1-5 times per week), or most days (6+ times per week). Arterial stiffness was assessed by brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity at baseline and repeatedly during follow-ups. Mean differences and 95% CIs in the yearly change rate of brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity across the 3 groups were calculated, adjusting for age, sex, socioeconomic status, total energy intake, diet quality, sleep quality, and other cardiovascular disease risk factors. At baseline, 6625 (85.2%), 610 (7.8%), and 536 (6.9%) participants reported night eating as never or rarely, some days, or most days, respectively. During a mean 3.19 years, we observed a positive association between night-eating frequency and progression of arterial stiffness (P trend=0.01). The adjusted difference in brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity change rate between the group that ate at night most days and the group that never or rarely ate at night was 14.1 (95% CI, 0.6-27.5) cm/s per year. This association was only significant in women, but not in men (P interaction=0.03). Conclusions In an adult population free of major chronic diseases, habitual night eating was positively associated with the progression of arterial stiffness, a hallmark of arteriosclerosis and biological aging. Registration URL: https://www.chictr.org.cn; Unique identifier: ChiCTR-TNRC-11001489.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e016455
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 20 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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