Researchers from Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine examined data from six previous studies, including almost 30,000 American adults over a period of, on average, 17 years.
The findings, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that eating 300 milligrams of cholesterol daily - typically one and a half eggs - resulted in a 3.2 per cent higher risk of heart disease and 4.4 per cent higher risk of early death.
Interestingly, for every extra egg consumed, that risk increased by 1.1 and 1.9 per cent respectively.
During the follow-up period, there were a total of 5400 cardiovascular events, 1302 strokes, 1897 incidents of heart failure and 113 other heart-related deaths.
“Eggs, specially the yolk, are a major source of dietary cholesterol,” wrote lead study author, Victor Zhong.
While previous studies did not include other lifestyle factors, "the current study included comprehensive assessment of these factors,” Zhong and his co-authors wrote.
“These results should be considered in the development of dietary guidelines and updates,” the team concludes.
Speaking to Science Media Centre Victoria Taylor, a senior dietitian with the British Heart Foundation, adds “this type of study can only show an association, rather than cause and effect, and more research is needed for us to understand the reasons behind this link.”
“Eggs are a nutritious food and, while this study focuses on the amount we’re eating, it’s just as important to pay attention to how the eggs are cooked and to the trimmings that come with them,”she continued. Taylor, however, was not involved in the study.
“Eating healthily is all about balance.”