Most studies disregard long-term dairy consumption behaviour and how it relates to mortality. We examined four different types of long-term milk consumption, namely whole milk, reduced fat milk, skim milk and soy milk, in relation to mortality among adults diagnosed with cardiovascular disease (CVD). A retrospective population-based study was conducted in Australia (the 45 and Up Study) linking baseline (2006-2009) and follow-up data (2012-2015) to hospitalisation and mortality data up to 30 September 2018. A total of 1,101 deaths occurred among 7236 participants with CVD over a mean follow-up of 8.4 years. Males (Hazard Ratio, HR = 0.69, 95% CI (0.54; 0.89)) and females (HR = 0.59 (0.38; 0.91)) with long-term reduced fat milk consumption had the lowest risk of mortality compared to counterparts with long-term whole milk consumption. Among participants with ischemic heart disease, males with a long-term reduced fat milk consumption had the lowest risk of mortality (HR = 0.63, 95% CI: 0.43; 0.92). We conclude that among males and females with CVD, those who often consume reduced fat milk over the long-term present with a 31-41% lower risk of mortality than those who often consume whole milk, supporting dairy advice from the Heart Foundation of replacing whole milk with reduced fat milk to achieve better health.
cardiovascular health; dairy; death; longitudinal; milk; secondary prevention; sex differences.