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Cardiac Risk High in Women with Trans Fat Intake

Highest consumers of trans fat have triple the cardiac risk of women with lower intake

MONDAY, March 26 (HealthDay News) -- Women with the highest trans fat consumption have three times the risk of developing coronary heart disease as women with the lowest intake, researchers report in the March 26 issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Frank B. Hu, M.D., Ph.D., of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues analyzed data from 32,826 participants in the Nurses' Health Study. During six years of follow-up there were 166 incident cases of coronary heart disease, and these were matched with 327 controls.

There was an association between dietary intake of trans fats and total trans fatty acid content in erythrocytes, as well as increased plasma low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and decreased plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. The association was sustained even when factors such as age, smoking status and other cardiovascular risk factors were taken into account. Women in the highest quartile of intake were 3.3 times as likely to have heart disease as those in the lowest quartile.

"Trans fat intake has been substantially reduced in European countries, whereas intake in the United States is relatively stable," the authors conclude. "Elimination of partially hydrogenated oils and other sources of trans fat from diet is likely to make an important contribution to the goal of reducing the burden of cardiovascular disease."

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