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Br J Nutr. 2012 Apr;107(7):1070-6. doi: 10.1017/S0007114511003837. Epub 2011 Aug 5.

Linoleic acid intake, plasma cholesterol and 10-year incidence of CHD in 20,000 middle-aged men and women in the Netherlands.

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Division of Human Nutrition, Wageningen University, PO Box 8129, 6700 EV Wageningen, The Netherlands.


We studied the associations of a difference in linoleic acid or carbohydrate intake with plasma cholesterol levels and risk of CHD in a prospective cohort study in the Netherlands. Data on diet (FFQ) and plasma total and HDL-cholesterol were available at baseline (1993-7) of 20,069 men and women, aged 20-65 years, who were initially free of CVD. Incidence of CHD was assessed through linkage with mortality and morbidity registers. During an average of 10 years of follow-up, 280 CHD events occurred. The intake of linoleic acid ranged from 3·6 to 8·0 % of energy (en%), whereas carbohydrate intake ranged from 47·6 to 42·5 en% across quintiles of linoleic acid intake. Linoleic acid intake was inversely associated with total cholesterol and HDL-cholesterol in women but not in men. Linoleic acid intake was not associated with the ratio of total to HDL-cholesterol. No association was observed between linoleic acid intake and CHD incidence, with hazard ratios varying between 0·83 and 1·00 (all P>0·05) compared to the bottom quintile. We conclude that a 4-5 en% difference in linoleic acid or carbohydrate intake did not translate into either a different ratio of total to HDL-cholesterol or a different CHD incidence.

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