Habitually skipping breakfast is associated with chronic inflammation: A cross-sectional study

Siwei Zhu, Liufu Cui, Xinyuan Zhang, Rong Shu, Hannah Vanevery, Katherine L. Tucker, Shouling Wu, Xiang Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Abstract Objective: We examined whether breakfast frequency was associated with chronic inflammatory, as assessed by high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP) concentration. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Kailuan community, China. Participants: Included were 70 092 Chinese adults without CVD and cancer in 2014 with CRP concentrations <10 mg/l, when breakfast frequency was assessed via a questionnaire, and plasma CRP concentration was measured. Results: Breakfast frequency was associated with CRP concentration (P-trend < 0·001). The adjusted mean CRP was 1·33 mg/l (95 % CI 1·23, 1·44) for the 'no breakfast' group and 1·07 mg/l (95 % CI 1·0, 1·14) for the 'breakfast everyday' group (P-difference < 0·001), adjusting for age, sex, diet quality, total energy, obesity, education, occupation, marital status, smoking, alcohol consumption, blood pressure, sleep parameters, fasting blood glucose and lipid profiles. Consistently, the adjusted OR for CRP ≥ 1·0 mg/l and CRP ≥ 3·0 mg/l were 1·86 (95 % CI 1·73, 2·00) and 1·27 (95 % CI 1·15, 1·40), respectively, when comparing these two breakfast consumption groups (P-trend < 0·001 for both). The associations were more pronounced among older adults, relative to those who were younger (P-interaction < 0·001). Significant association between breakfast skipping and elevated CRP concentration was observed in those with poor diet quality, but not those with good diet quality. Conclusions: Habitually skipping breakfast is associated with elevated concentrations of CRP. Future prospective studies including repeated assessment of inflammatory biomarkers and a collection of detailed information on type and amount of breakfast foods are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2936-2943
Number of pages8
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jul 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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