Biomarkers of dairy fat intake, incident cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality: a cohort study, systematic review, and meta-analysis

Kathy Trieu, Saiuj Bhat, Zhaoli Dai, Karin Leander, Bruna Gigante, Frank Qian, Andres V. Ardisson Korat, Qi Sun, Xiong-Fei Pan, Federica Laguzzi, Tommy Cederholm, Ulf de Faire, Mai-Lis Hellénius, Jason H. Y. Wu, Ulf Risérus, Matti Marklund

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Abstract

Background: We aimed to investigate the association of serum pentadecanoic acid (15:0), a biomarker of dairy fat intake, with incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) and all-cause mortality in a Swedish cohort study. We also systematically reviewed studies of the association of dairy fat biomarkers (circulating or adipose tissue levels of 15:0, heptadecanoic acid [17:0], and trans-palmitoleic acid [t16:1n-7]) with CVD outcomes or all-cause mortality.

Methods and findings: We measured 15:0 in serum cholesterol esters at baseline in 4,150 Swedish adults (51% female, median age 60.5 years). During a median follow-up of 16.6 years, 578 incident CVD events and 676 deaths were identified using Swedish registers. In multivariable-adjusted models, higher 15:0 was associated with lower incident CVD risk in a linear dose-response manner (hazard ratio 0.75 per interquintile range; 95% confidence interval 0.61, 0.93, P = 0.009) and nonlinearly with all-cause mortality (P for nonlinearity = 0.03), with a nadir of mortality risk around median 15:0. In meta-analyses including our Swedish cohort and 17 cohort, case-cohort, or nested case-control studies, higher 15:0 and 17:0 but not t16:1n-7 were inversely associated with total CVD, with the relative risk of highest versus lowest tertile being 0.88 (0.78, 0.99), 0.86 (0.79, 0.93), and 1.01 (0.91, 1.12), respectively. Dairy fat biomarkers were not associated with all-cause mortality in meta-analyses, although there were ≤3 studies for each biomarker. Study limitations include the inability of the biomarkers to distinguish different types of dairy foods and that most studies in the meta-analyses (including our novel cohort study) only assessed biomarkers at baseline, which may increase the risk of misclassification of exposure levels.

Conclusions: In a meta-analysis of 18 observational studies including our new cohort study, higher levels of 15:0 and 17:0 were associated with lower CVD risk. Our findings support the need for clinical and experimental studies to elucidate the causality of these relationships and relevant biological mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1003763
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalPLoS Medicine
Volume18
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2021. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

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