Background: Studies have shown a positive association between trans fatty acids (TFA) intake and risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), primarily accounted for by industrially produced TFA. Some of these studies indicate an inverse association between ruminant TFA (R-TFA) intake and CHD implying that R-TFA intake is innocuous or even protective against CHD. The aim of this study was to describe the association between R-TFA intake and risk of CHD evaluating both the absolute and the energy-adjusted intake.
Methods: The study was an 18-year follow-up study of 3686 Danes, aged 30-71 years, at baseline without previous CHD.
Results: There were no overall associations between absolute or energy-adjusted R-TFA intakes and risk of CHD. However, among women, indications of inverse associations between R-TFA intake and risk of CHD were found: hazard ratio (HR) per 0.5 g increase in absolute R-TFA intake = 0.84 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.70, 1.01] and HR per 0.5 g increase in energy-adjusted R-TFA intake = 0.77 (95% CI: 0.55, 1.09). No associations between absolute or energy-adjusted R-TFA intakes and CHD were found among men.
Conclusion: This study suggests that R-TFA intake is not associated with a higher risk of CHD. Whether R-TFA intake is even protective against CHD among women cannot be concluded from this study.