(HealthDay News) — Higher dietary protein intake is associated with a trend toward increased heart failure risk among middle-aged men, according to a study published online in Circulation: Heart Failure.

Heli EK Virtanen, from the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio, and colleagues assessed whether dietary proteins are associated with risk of heart failure among 2441 men (aged 42 to 60 years) participating in the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study.

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During a mean follow-up of 22.2 years, there were 334 incident heart failure cases. There was a trend toward increased risk of heart failure with higher intake of total protein (multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio in the highest versus lowest quartile, 1.33; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.95 to 1.85; P-trend = 0.05). For total animal protein, the HR was 1.43 for the highest versus lowest quartile (95 percent CI, 1.00 to 2.03; P-trend = 0.07), and for total plant protein, it was 1.17 (95 percent CI, 0.72 to 1.91; P-trend = 0.35).

“In middle-aged men, higher protein intake was marginally associated with increased risk of heart failure,” the authors write.

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