Dietary intake of naturally occurring plant sterols is inversely related to serum cholesterol concentrations. Elevated serum cholesterol increases the risk of myocardial infarction (MI), but it is unknown if this can be reduced by dietary intake of naturally occurring plant sterols. Our aim was to investigate if a high intake of naturally occurring plant sterols is related to a lower risk of contracting a first MI. The analysis included 1005 prospective cases (219 women, 786 men) and 3148 matched referents (723 women, 2425 men), aged 29-73 y at baseline, from the population-based Northern Sweden Health and Disease Study. A food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) was completed at baseline. Absolute plant sterol intake was inversely related to the risk of a first MI in men (OR highest vs. lowest quartile = 0.70; 95% CI: 0.53, 0.85; P-trend = 0.006) but not in women. After adjustment for confounders, the estimated risk was somewhat attenuated (OR highest vs. lowest quartile = 0.71; 95% CI: 0.55, 0.92; P-trend = 0.067), suggesting that increasing sterol intake from 150 to 340 mg/d reduces the risk of a first MI by 29%. Energy-adjusted plant sterol intake was not related to the risk of a first MI in either men or women. In conclusion, the findings of this observational study show that a high absolute intake of naturally occurring plant sterols is significantly related to a lower risk of a first MI in men in northern Sweden, whereas no significant relation was seen for energy-adjusted plant sterol intake. In women, no significant associations were found. The results from this study show that intake of plant sterols may be important in prevention of MI.
Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Nutrition, Institution of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, P.O. Box 459, SE-405 30 Göteborg, Sweden. firstname.lastname@example.org
To evaluate plant sterol intake estimated with the eighty-four-item Northern Sweden FFQ against repeated 24 h dietary recalls (24-HDR) as the reference method.
Randomly recruited participants from the Västerbotten Intervention Programme (VIP) responded to an FFQ (FFQ1). Over the subsequent 12 months, ten repeated 24-HDR were carried out. After this, a second FFQ (FFQ2) was completed.
Västerbotten county, northern Sweden.
Ninety-six men and ninety-nine women.
The Pearson correlation coefficient for absolute total plant sterol intake estimated with FFQ1 and 24-HDR was 0.58 and 0.55 for the men and women, respectively. Cross-classification of participants into quartiles of absolute plant sterol intake estimated with FFQ1 and 24-HDR showed that 90% of the men and 83% of the women were classified into the same or an adjacent quartile. For energy-adjusted plant sterol intake, 71% of the men and 74% of the women were classified into the same or an adjacent quartile. The agreement for cross-classification of participants into quartiles between FFQ1 and FFQ2 was good for both absolute and energy-adjusted plant sterol intake.
The FFQ is able to capture absolute plant sterol intake to the same extent as other nutrients, and to rank individuals according to both their absolute and energy-adjusted plant sterol intake. The reproducibility of the FFQ was good, suggesting that the method is reliable. This makes it possible to use plant sterol data from the FFQ in large-scale studies of the association between plant sterol intake and disease.
The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of active weight loss attempts in Sweden, and to study the extent to which overweight individuals may or may not correctly identify themselves as overweight. Additional aims were to determine the sociodemographic factors associated with following a specific dietary regimen and with attempts at losing weight. A postal questionnaire was sent to 2000 randomly selected men and women living in Sweden. The inclusion criteria was an age of 20-65 years. In total, the response rate was 28% and the completed questionnaires from 555 participants were analyzed in this study. In total, 46% of participants were overweight or obese by self-reported height and weight. Additionally, 42% of overweight and 90% of obese individuals correctly identified themselves as being overweight. Weight loss was pursued by 41% and was more common among women, those with higher physical activity, higher BMI and higher socioeconomic position. Overall, 22% followed a specific diet, and following a dietary regimen was associated with female gender, higher education level and overweight. In conclusion, almost half of the participants were either overweight or trying to lose weight. Trying to lose weight and following a specific dietary regimen were related to female gender, high BMI and higher socioeconomic position. This could indicate that the socioeconomic disparities in health are further exacerbated, as overweight individuals with poor socioeconomic position might be more likely to remain overweight.
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