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Br J Nutr. 2014 Sep 14;112(5):735-43. doi: 10.1017/S000711451400138X. Epub 2014 Jun 25.

Association between the intake of α-linolenic acid and the risk of CHD.

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Research Unit for Dietary Studies, Institute of Preventive Medicine,Copenhagen Municipal Hospitals Region H,Copenhagen,Denmark.
Section for Epidemiology, Department of Public Health, Aarhus University,Aarhus,Denmark.
Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen,Frederiksberg,Denmark.
Departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health,Boston,MA,USA.
Department of Chronic Disease Prevention, National Institute for Health and Welfare,Helsinki,Finland.
Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine,St Louis,MO,USA.
Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Nutritional Research, Umeå University,Umeå,Sweden.
Division of Preventive Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital,Boston,MA,USA.
Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota School of Public Health,Minneapolis,MN,USA.
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health and Health Services, George Washington University,Washington,DC,USA.


The intake of the mainly plant-derived n-3 PUFA α-linolenic acid (ALA) has been reported to be associated with a lower risk of CHD. However, the results have been inconsistent. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to examine the association between the intake of ALA and the risk of CHD. Potential effect modification by the intake of long-chain n-3 PUFA (n-3 LCPUFA) was also investigated. Data from eight American and European prospective cohort studies including 148 675 women and 80 368 men were used. The outcome measure was incident CHD (CHD event and death). During 4-10 years of follow-up, 4493 CHD events and 1751 CHD deaths occurred. Among men, an inverse association (not significant) between the intake of ALA and the risk of CHD events and deaths was observed. For each additional gram of ALA consumed, a 15 % lower risk of CHD events (hazard ratios (HR) 0·85, 95 % CI 0·72, 1·01) and a 23 % lower risk of CHD deaths (HR 0·77, 95 % CI 0·58, 1·01) were observed. No consistent association was observed among women. No effect modification by the intake of n-3 LCPUFA was observed.

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