British Journal of Nutrition

Dietary Surveys and Nutritional Epidemiology

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

Janette de Goedea1, Johanna M. Geleijnsea1 c1, Jolanda M. A. Boera2, Daan Kromhouta1 and W. M. Monique Verschurena3

a1 Division of Human Nutrition, Wageningen University, PO Box 8129, 6700 EV Wageningen, The Netherlands

a2 Centre for Nutrition and Health, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, PO Box 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands

a3 Centre for Prevention and Health Services Research, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, PO Box 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands

Abstract

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.

(Received February 08 2011)

(Revised May 19 2011)

(Accepted June 16 2011)

(Online publication August 05 2011)

Correspondence:

c1 Corresponding author: J. M. Geleijnse, fax +31 317 48 33 42, email Marianne.Geleijnse@wur.nl

Footnotes

Abbreviations: en%, % of energy; HR, hazard ratio; MI, myocardial infarction; MORGEN, Monitoring Project on Chronic Disease Risk Factors; Q, quintile