Research Papers:

Association between whole grain intake and all-cause mortality: a meta-analysis of cohort studies

Xiao Ma, Wei-Guo Tang, Yang Yang, Qing-Li Zhang, Jia-Li Zheng and Yong-Bing Xiang _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:61996-62005. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.11491

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Xiao Ma1,*, Wei-Guo Tang1,*, Yang Yang1, Qing-Li Zhang1, Jia-Li Zheng2, Yong-Bing Xiang1

1State Key Laboratory of Oncogenes and Related Genes and Department of Epidemiology, Shanghai Cancer Institute, Renji Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China

2Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Yong-Bing Xiang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: diet, whole grain intake, mortality, meta-analysis, prospective cohort studies

Received: March 24, 2016     Accepted: August 09, 2016     Published: August 22, 2016


Some observational studies have examined the association between dietary whole grain intake and all-cause mortality, but the results were inconclusive. We therefore conducted a meta-analysis to summarize the evidence from cohort studies regarding the association between whole grain intake and all-cause mortality. Pertinent studies were identified by searching PubMed, Embase and Web of Knowledge, up to February 28, 2016. Study-specific estimates were combined using random-effects models. Eleven prospective cohort studies involving 101,282 deaths and 843,749 participants were included in this meta-analysis. The pooled relative risk of all-cause mortality for the highest category of whole grain intake versus lowest category was 0.82 (95% confidence interval: 0.78, 0.87). There was a 7% reduction in risk associated with each 1 serving/day increase in whole grain intake (relative risk = 0.93; 95% confidence interval: 0.89, 0.97). No publication bias was found. This analysis indicates that higher intake of whole grain is associated with a reduced risk of all-cause mortality. The findings support current recommendations for increasing whole grain consumption to promote health and overall longevity.

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