An Unhealthy Diet Feeds Into Clonal Hematopoiesis- JAMA
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Diet may play a role in the development of an age-linked condition associated with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (CVD), a retrospective cohort study found.

Clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential (CHIP), the expansion of somatic leukemogenic variations in hematopoietic stem cells, has been associated with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Because the inherited risk of developing CHIP is low, lifestyle elements such as dietary factors may be associated with the development and outcomes of CHIP.

This study aimed to examine whether there is an association between diet quality and the prevalence of CHIP.

This retrospective cohort study used data from participants in the UK Biobank, an ongoing population-based study in the United Kingdom that examines whole-exome sequencing data and survey-based information on health-associated behaviors. Individuals from the UK Biobank were recruited and followed up prospectively with linkage to health data records. The present study included 44?111 participants in the UK Biobank who were age 40 to 70 years, had data available from whole-exome sequencing of blood DNA, and were free of coronary artery disease (CAD) or hematologic cancer at baseline.

Diet quality was categorized as unhealthy if the intake of healthy elements (fruits and vegetables) was lower than the median of all survey responses, and the intake of unhealthy elements (red meat, processed food, and added salt) was higher than the median. Diets were classified as healthy if the intake of healthy elements was higher than the median, and the intake of unhealthy elements was lower than the median. The presence of CHIP was detected by data from whole-exome sequencing of blood DNA.

The primary outcome was CHIP prevalence. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to examine the association between diet quality and the presence of CHIP. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards models were used to assess the association of incident events (acute coronary syndromes, coronary revascularization, or death) in each diet quality category stratified by the presence of CHIP.

-- Among 44 111 participants (mean age at time of blood sample collection, 56.3 years; 24 507 women), 2271 individuals had an unhealthy diet, 38?552 individuals had an intermediate diet, and 3288 individuals had a healthy diet.

-- A total of 2507 individuals (5.7%) had CHIP, and the prevalence of CHIP decreased as diet quality improved from unhealthy (162 of 2271 participants [7.1%]) to intermediate (2177 of 38 552 participants [5.7%]) to healthy (168 of 3288 participants [5.1%]).

-- Compared with individuals without CHIP who had an intermediate diet, the rates of incident cardiovascular events progressively decreased among those with CHIP who had an unhealthy diet and those with CHIP who had a healthy diet over a median of 10.0 years of follow-up.

Conclusively, this cohort study suggests that an unhealthy diet quality may be associated with a higher prevalence of CHIP and higher rates of adverse cardiovascular events and death independent of CHIP status.