Relation between dietary linolenic acid and coronary artery disease in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Family Heart Study

Luc Djoussé, James S. Pankow, John H. Eckfeldt, Aaron R. Folsom, Paul N. Hopkins, Michael A. Province, Yuling Hong, R. Curtis Ellison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

165 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Epidemiologic studies suggest that a higher consumption of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Studies in humans and animals also reported an inverse association between α-linolenic acid and cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality. Objective: We examined the relation between dietary linolenic acid and prevalent coronary artery disease (CAD). Design: We studied 4584 participants with a mean (±SD) age of 52.1 ± 13.7 y in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Family Heart Study in a cross-sectional design. Participants' diets were assessed with a semiquantitative food-frequency questionnaire. For each sex, we created age- and energy-adjusted quintiles of linolenic acid, and we used logistic regression to estimate prevalent odds ratios for CAD. Results: From the lowest to the highest quintile of linolenic acid, the prevalence odds ratios of CAD were 1.0, 0.77, 0.61, 0.58, and 0.60 for the men (P for trend = 0.012) and 1.0, 0.57, 0.52, 0.30, and 0.42 for the women (P for trend = 0.014) after adjustment for age, linoleic acid, and anthropometric, lifestyle, and metabolic factors. Linoleic acid was also inversely related to the prevalence odds ratios of CAD in the multivariate model (0.60 and 0.61 in the second and third tertiles, respectively) after adjustment for linolenic acid. The combined effect of linoleic and linolenic acids was stronger than the individual effects of either fatty acid. Conclusions: A higher intake of either linolenic or linoleic acid was inversely related to the prevalence odds ratio of CAD. The 2 fatty acids had synergistic effects on the prevalence odds ratio of CAD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)612-619
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Volume74
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001

Keywords

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Diet
  • Food-frequency questionnaire
  • Linoleic acid
  • Linolenic acid
  • N-3 fatty acids
  • N-6 fatty acids
  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Family Heart Study

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