People who don't eat breakfast are more likely to have early signs of atherosclerosis, a thickening of the arteries that can lead to heart problems.
But researchers from Mount Sinai Heart in New York don't think there's a direct link; it's more likely that skipping breakfast is symptomatic of poorer eating habits and lifestyle.
The researchers are looking at the health and eating habits of 4,052 healthy men and women who all work in banks. Those who eat around 20 per cent of their daily calorie intake at breakfast aren't showing any signs of atherosclerosis, whereas 75 per cent of those skipping breakfast are.
The breakfast-skippers were also more likely to be obese, have high blood pressure, drink more alcohol, smoke and eat a lot of red meat, the researchers discovered.
They surmise that missing breakfast disrupts the body clock, which can cause people to eat more calories at unusual times.
The researchers say their findings have limitations: just 3 per cent of people in the study admit to missing breakfast, and even those eating breakfast were consuming low-calorie food.