Dietary fats and 16-year coronary heart disease mortality in a cohort of men and women in Great Britain

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2002 Aug;56(8):786-92. doi: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1601509.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects
  • Cohort Studies
  • Coronary Disease / epidemiology
  • Coronary Disease / mortality*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet Surveys
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Fats / adverse effects
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Risk
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Social Class
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology


  • Dietary Fats