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Dietary fats and atherosclerosis from childhood to adulthood


Laitinen, TT and Nuotio, J and Rovio, SP and Niinikoski, H and Juonala, M and Magnussen, CG and Jokinen, E and Lagstrom, H and Jula, A and Viikari, JSA and Ronnemaa, T and Simell, O and Raitakari, OT and Pahkala, K, Dietary fats and atherosclerosis from childhood to adulthood, Pediatrics, 145, (4) Article e20192786. ISSN 0031-4005 (2020) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 by the American Academy of Pediatrics

DOI: doi:10.1542/peds.2019-2786


Background: The association of dietary fat distribution with markers of subclinical atherosclerosis during early life is unknown. We examined whether success in achieving the main target of an infancy-onset dietary intervention based on the distribution of dietary fat was associated with aortic and carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) and distensibility from childhood to young adulthood.

Methods: In the prospective randomized controlled Special Turku Coronary Risk Factor Intervention Project trial, personalized dietary counseling was given biannually to healthy children from infancy to young adulthood. The counseling was based on Nordic Nutrition Recommendations, with the main aim of improving the distribution of dietary fat in children's diets. IMT and distensibility of the abdominal aorta and common carotid artery were measured repeatedly at ages 11 (n = 439), 13 (n = 499), 15 (n = 506), 17 (n = 477), and 19 years (n = 429). The targeted distribution of dietary fat was defined as a ratio of saturated fatty acids to monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids of <1:2 and as an intake of saturated fatty acids of <10% of energy intake. Participants who met ≥1 of these 2 criteria were defined to achieve the main intervention target.

Results: Individuals who achieved the main intervention target had lower aortic IMT (age- and sex-adjusted mean difference 10.4 Ám; 95% confidence interval: 0.3 to 20.5 Ám) and better aortic distensibility (0.13% per 10 mm Hg; 95% confidence interval: 0.00% to 0.26% per10 mm Hg) compared with their peers who did not meet the target.

Conclusions: Achieving the main target of an infancy-onset dietary intervention, reflecting dietary guidelines, was favorably associated with aortic IMT and distensibility during the early life course. These data support the recommendation of favoring unsaturated fat to enhance arterial health.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Cardiovascular medicine and haematology
Research Field:Cardiology (incl. cardiovascular diseases)
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Magnussen, CG (Associate Professor Costan Magnussen)
ID Code:139677
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:5
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2020-06-25
Last Modified:2022-08-25

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