MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Since you were little, you’ve heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And a new study shows, that’s especially true for men.

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The study shows men who skip breakfast could be damaging their hearts.

Harvard studied data on more than 25,000 men — ages 45-82.

Those who regularly missed breakfast had a 27 percent higher risk of heart attack — or death from heart disease.

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“We see that men who skip breakfast tend to have other habits that are unhealthy. They are more likely to be smokers, less active,” said Dr. Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, of Lenox Hill Hospital.

Researchers say even with healthy men, skipping breakfast can have a negative effect on the body.

It may lead to obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

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Those are all risk factors for heart disease, which is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S.