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Trans, but Not Saturated, Fats Up All-Cause Mortality

Trans fats linked to all-cause mortality, total CHD, CHD mortality; no associations for saturated fats

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Trans fats, but not saturated fats, are associated with all-cause mortality, coronary heart disease (CHD), and CHD-associated mortality, according to a systematic review published online Aug. 11 in The BMJ.

Russell J. de Souza, Sc.D., R.D., from McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, and colleagues conducted a systematic review to examine the correlations between saturated fat and trans unsaturated fat intake and all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease (CVD)/CHD mortality, ischemic stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Observational studies that reported associations were reviewed, and multivariable relative risks were pooled.

The researchers pooled three to 12 prospective cohort studies for each association for saturated fats. There were no significant associations for intake of saturated fat with all-cause mortality, CVD mortality, CHD mortality, total CHD, ischemic stroke, or type 2 diabetes. One to six prospective cohort studies were pooled for each association for trans fats. There were significant correlations for total trans fat intake with all-cause mortality (relative risk [RR], 1.34), CHD mortality (RR, 1.28), and total CHD (RR, 1.21). No correlations were seen for ischemic stroke or type 2 diabetes. There was a correlation for industrial, but not ruminant, trans fats with CHD mortality (RR, 1.18) and CHD (RR, 1.42).

“There was no association between saturated fats and health outcomes in studies where saturated fat generally replaced refined carbohydrates, but there was a positive association between total trans fatty acids and health outcomes,” the authors write. “Dietary guidelines must carefully consider the health effects of recommendations for alternative macronutrients to replace trans fats and saturated fats.”

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