Study Title:

Dairy Fat and the Risk of a First Heart Attack

Study Abstract

Background: High intakes of saturated fat have been associated with cardiovascular disease, and milk fat is rich in saturated fat.

Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate the association between the serum milk fat biomarkers pentadecanoic acid (15:0), heptadecanoic acid (17:0), and their sum (15:0+17:0) and a first myocardial infarction (MI).

Design: The study design was a prospective case-control study nested within a large population-based cohort in Sweden. Included in the study were 444 cases (307 men) and 556 controls (308 men) matched on sex, age, date of examination, and geographic region. Clinical, anthropometric, biomarker fatty acid, physical activity, and dietary data were collected. The odds of a first MI were investigated by using conditional logistic regression.

Results: In women, proportions of milk fat biomarkers in plasma phospholipids were significantly higher (P < 0.05) in controls than in cases and were, in general, negatively, albeit weakly, correlated with risk factors for metabolic syndrome. The crude standardized odds ratios of becoming an MI case were 0.74 (95% CI: 0.58, 0.94) in women and 0.91 (95% CI: 0.77, 1.1) in men. After multivariable adjustment for confounders, the inverse association remained in both sexes and was significant in women. In agreement with biomarker data, quartiles of reported intake of cheese (men and women) and fermented milk products (men) were inversely related to a first MI (P for trend < 0.05 for all).

Conclusions: Milk fat biomarkers were associated with a lower risk of developing a first MI, especially in women. This was partly confirmed in analysis of fermented milk and cheese intake. Components of metabolic syndrome were observed as potential intermediates for the risk relations.

Study Information

Eva Warensjö, Jan-Håkan Jansson, Tommy Cederholm, Kurt Boman, Mats Eliasson, Göran Hallmans, Ingegerd Johansson, and Per Sjögren
Biomarkers of milk fat and the risk of myocardial infarction in men and women: a prospective, matched case-control study
Am J Clin Nutr
2010 July
Department of Public HealthCaring Sciences Clinical NutritionMetabolism Uppsala University Uppsala Sweden.

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