Association between dairy food consumption and risk of myocardial infarction in women differs by type of dairy food

J Nutr. 2013 Jan;143(1):74-9. doi: 10.3945/jn.112.166330. Epub 2012 Nov 21.


The relation between dairy foods, particularly specific foods, and risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains unclear. We examined the association between total, as well as specific, dairy food intakes and incidence of myocardial infarction (MI) in a prospective population-based cohort. We followed 33,636 women (aged 48-83 y), free from CVD, cancer, and diabetes at baseline (1997), in the Swedish Mammography Cohort. Consumption of milk, cultured milk/yogurt, cheese, cream, crème fraiche, and butter was obtained from a validated self-administered FFQ at baseline. We used Cox proportional hazards regression models to estimate HRs and 95% CIs, adjusted for relevant CVD risk factors. MI incidence was ascertained from national registries. Over 11.6 y of follow-up, we ascertained 1392 cases of MI. When the highest quintile was compared with the lowest quintile, total dairy food intake was inversely associated with MI risk [multivariable adjusted HR: 0.77 (95% CI: 0.63, 0.95)]. Among specific dairy food products, total cheese was inversely associated [HR: 0.74 (95% CI: 0.60, 0.91)] and butter used on bread but not on cooking was positively associated [HR: 1.34 (95% CI: 1.02, 1.75)] with MI risk. Other specific dairy food products were not significantly associated with MI risk. No differences were observed between consumption of specific low-fat and high-fat dairy foods, expressed as either absolute intakes or intakes relative to the total, and MI risk. Failure to consider dairy foods as a heterogeneous group in future studies could hamper important insights of relevance for the development of dietary guidelines.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Butter / adverse effects
  • Cheese / adverse effects
  • Cohort Studies
  • Dairy Products* / adverse effects
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fats / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / epidemiology*
  • Myocardial Infarction / etiology
  • Myocardial Infarction / prevention & control
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Registries
  • Risk
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden / epidemiology


  • Dietary Fats
  • Butter