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J Nutr. 2020 Jan 9. pii: nxz337. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxz337. [Epub ahead of print]

Substitution of Milk with Whole-Fat Yogurt Products or Cheese Is Associated with a Lower Risk of Myocardial Infarction: The Danish Diet, Cancer and Health cohort.

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Department of Public Health, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark.
Department of Cardiology, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark.
National Food Institute, Division for Diet, Disease Prevention and Toxicology, Technical University of Denmark, Kgs Lyngby, Denmark.



Food-based dietary guidelines recommend replacement of whole-fat dairy products with low-fat variants based on data suggesting that diets high in saturated fat are associated with a higher risk of ischemic heart disease. However, the health effects of saturated fat may depend on the source.


The aim was to investigate substitutions between different subgroups of dairy products and the risk of myocardial infarction (MI).


Data were from the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health cohort and included 54,903 men and women aged 50-64 y at enrollment and without an MI diagnosis. Information about intake of dairy products was obtained by a semiquantitative food-frequency questionnaire. Incident MI cases were identified through nationwide registries. We used Cox proportional hazards regression to estimate associations between specified substitutions of dairy products and MI risk.


During a median follow-up of 15.9 y, 3033 cases were identified. Whole-fat yogurt products in place of low-fat or whole-fat milk were associated with a lower risk of MI (HR: 0.89; 95% CI: 0.80, 0.99 per 200 g/d replaced; and HR: 0.87; 95% CI: 0.78, 0.98 per 200 g/d replaced, respectively). Substitution of 20 g/d of cheese for 200 g/d of low-fat or whole-fat milk was also associated with a lower risk of MI (HR: 0.96; 95% CI: 0.92, 0.99; and HR: 0.95; 95% CI: 0.89, 0.99, respectively).


Among middle-aged Danish men and women, intake of whole-fat yogurt products or cheese in place of milk, regardless of fat content, was associated with a lower risk of development of MI.


dairy products; milk; myocardial infarction; substitution models; yogurt


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