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Studies examining the association of dairy consumption with incident CHD have yielded inconsistent results. The current prospective study examined the association between dairy consumption and CHD in a population-based sample of older community-dwelling adults.
Baseline CHD risk factors were assessed and an FFQ was self-administered. Participants were followed for morbidity and mortality with periodic clinic visits and annual mailed questionnaires for an average of 16·2 years, with a 96 % follow-up rate for fatal and non-fatal CHD.
Participants were 751 men and 1008 women aged 50–93 years who attended a clinic visit in 1984–1987.
At baseline the mean age was 70·6 (sd 9·8) years for men and 70·1 (sd 9·3) years for women. Participants who developed CHD during follow-up were significantly older (P < 0·001), had higher BMI (P = 0·035) and higher total cholesterol (P = 0·050), and were more likely to be male (P < 0·001), diabetic (P = 0·011) and hypertensive (P < 0·001), than those who did not develop CHD. Multivariate regression analyses adjusting for age, BMI, diabetes, hypertension, LDL-cholesterol and oestrogen use (in women) indicated that women who consumed low-fat cheese ‘sometimes/often’ and women who consumed non-fat milk ‘sometimes/often’ had an increased risk of incident CHD (hazard ratio = 2·32; 95 % CI 1·57, 3·41) and CHD (hazard ratio = 1·48; 95 % CI 1·02, 2·16) compared with women who ‘never/rarely’ ate these dairy products.
Woman with higher intake of low-fat cheese and non-fat milk seem to have a higher risk of incident CHD. This needs further investigation considering recent evidence of cardiovascular benefits from certain dairy fat.
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