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Higher Trans Fat Levels in Blood Associated With Elevated Risk of Heart Disease

age, smoking status, fasting status and date of blood drawing.

After adjusting for age, smoking status and other dietary and lifestyle cardiovascular risk factors, the researchers found that a higher level of trans fatty acids in red blood cells was associated with an elevated risk of CHD. The risk among women in the top quartile of trans fat levels was triple that of the lowest quartile. “Positive associations have been shown in earlier studies based on dietary data provided by the participants, but the use of biomarkers of trans fatty acids is believed to be more reliable than self-reports. This is probably the reason why we see an even stronger association between blood levels of trans fat and risk of CHD in this study,” said Sun.

“These data provide further justifications for current efforts to remove trans fat from foods and restaurant meals,” said Hu. “Trans fat intake in the U.S. is still high. Reducing trans fat intake should remain an important public health priority.”

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

“A Prospective Study of Trans Fatty Acids in Erythrocytes and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease,” Qi Sun, Jing Ma, Hannia Campos, Susan E. Hankinson, JoAnn E. Manson, Meir J. Stampfer, Kathryn M. Rexrode, Walter C. Willett, Frank B. Hu, Circulation, April 10, 2007.

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