Whether or not you eat breakfast could be an indicator of your heart health, research suggests.

Researchers from Harvard University looked at data collected from 26,000 men who were asked about their breakfast habits and followed over 16 years.

They found that men who skipped breakfast had a 27 percent increased risk for heart attack or death from heart disease when compared to men who started the day with a healthy meal.

Men who skipped breakfast were also more likely to smoke, be less physically active and drink more alcohol.

Experts speculate that people who don't eat breakfast are more likely to be hungrier later in the day and eat larger meals, forcing the body to process more calories in a shorter amount of time. This can increase sugar levels in the blood and even lead to clogged arteries.

The observational study was released Monday by the journal Circulation.

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