Mullie P; Pizot C; Autier P. - - BMC Public Health 2016; 16: 1236.

Daily milk consumption and all-cause mortality, coronary heart disease and stroke: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational cohort studies

Observational studies and meta-analyses relating milk consumption by adults to all-cause mortality, coronary heart disease and stroke have obtained contradictory results. Some studies found a protective effect of milk consumption, whilst other found an increased risk.

Methods: We performed a systematic literature search until June 2015 on prospective studies that looked at milk consumption, all-cause mortality, coronary heart disease and stroke. Random-effect meta-analyses were performed with dose-response.

Results: Twenty-one studies involving 19 cohorts were included in this meta-analysis, 11 on all-cause mortality, 9 on coronary heart disease, and 10 on stroke. Milk intake ranged from 0 to 850 mL/d. The summary relative risk (SRR) for 200 mL/d milk consumption was 1.01 (95% CI: 0.96-1.06) for all-cause mortality, 1.01 (95% CI: 0.98-1.05) for fatal and non fatal coronary heart disease, and 0.91 (95% CI: 0.82-1.02) for fatal and non fatal stroke. Stratified analyses by age, Body Mass Index, total energy intake and physical acitivity did not alter the SRR estimates. The possibility of publication bias was found for all cause mortality and for stroke, indicating a gap in data that could have suggested a higher risk of these conditions with increased milk consumption.

Conclusions: We found no evidence for a decreased or increased risk of all-cause mortality, coronary heart disease, and stroke associated with adult milk consumption. However, the possibility cannot be dismissed that risks associated with milk consumption could be underestimated because of publication bias.