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Am J Clin Nutr. 1997 May;65(5 Suppl):1597S-1610S.

Effects of dietary fat and fatty acids on coronary artery disease risk and total and lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations: epidemiologic studies.

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Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA.


Because of their large sample sizes, epidemiologic studies can provide important data on the relation between diet, specifically dietary fat and fatty acids, and lipid and lipoprotein concentrations as well as the incidence of coronary artery disease. Although correlation coefficients vary widely (from 0.84 to 0.01) and are frequently low between dietary variables and coronary artery disease or lipids and lipoprotein fractions in the studies reviewed here, intakes of saturated fatty acids and dietary cholesterol are generally positively correlated with blood cholesterol in men and women. Associations between other fatty acids are less consistent and may be related to the considerable differences in these studies in dietary methodologies used, databases used for analyses, and homogeneity of intakes within populations. Relatively few data are available for women, cultural minorities within the United States, or young or elderly populations. However, the trends observed in the United States, ie, lower rates of coronary artery disease as well as lower reported intakes of both total and saturated fats, support the relations observed in the epidemiologic studies.

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