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Current research on the relationship between phytoestrogens and mortality has been inconclusive. We explored the relationship between genistein, a phytoestrogen, and mortality in a large cohort representative of the United States population.
Methods: Data were analyzed from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 1999–2010. Normalized urinary genistein (nUG) was analyzed as a log-transformed continuous variable and in quartiles. Mortality data were obtained from the National Death Index and matched to the NHANES participants. Survival analyses were conducted using the Kaplan-Meier analysis. Cox proportional hazard models were constructed for all-cause and cause-specific mortality without and with adjustment for potential confounding variables.
Results: Of 11,497 participants, 944 died during the 64,443 person-years follow-up. The all-cause mortality rate was significantly lower in the lowest quartile compared to the highest quartile (incidence rate ratio = 2.14, 95%CI = 1.76 to 2.60). Compared to the lowest quartile, the highest quartile had significantly higher adjusted all-cause (HR = 1.57, 95%CI = 1.23 to 2.00), cardiovascular (HR = 1.67, 95%CI = 1.04 to 2.68), and other-cause (HR = 1.85, 95%CI = 1.33 to 2.57) mortality.
Conclusion: We found that high urinary genistein levels were associated with increased risk of all-cause, cardiovascular, and other-cause mortality. This is contrary to popular opinion on the health benefits of genistein and needs further research.
© 2019 Marcelo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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