Objective: The paper aims to investigate the relationships of dietary fats to subsequent coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality in men and women while taking account of other CHD-related behaviours.
Design: A cohort of randomly selected men and women were interviewed in 1984-85 and monitored subsequently for 16 y for deaths. The interview covered health, health-related behaviours, physical measurements, socio-demographic details and a dietary questionnaire. Appropriate exclusions left 1225 men and 1451 women aged 40-75 with 98 and 57 CHD deaths, respectively. Saturated, polyunsaturated and total fat intakes were estimated.
Setting: The sample was randomly selected from households in Great Britain. The interviews took place in participants' own homes.
Results: Not consuming alcohol, smoking, not exercising and being socially disadvantaged were related to high saturated fat intake and CHD death. Cox survival analyses adjusting for these factors found that a level of saturated fat 100 g per week higher corresponded to a relative risk for CHD death for men of 1.00 (0.86-1.18) and 1.40 (1.09-1.79) for women. This difference between the effects of saturated fat in men and women was statistically significant (P=0.019). Results are also reported for total fat and the relative effects of polyunsaturated and saturated fats.
Conclusions: Strong evidence was found for the within cohort relationship of dietary fat and CHD death in women while no evidence was found for a relationship in men. Possible explanations for this are discussed.