Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952576 | Print ISBN: 9780761923602 | Online ISBN: 9781412952576| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Heart Disease and Diet
Frank B. Hu
The relationship between diet and coronary heart disease (CHD) has been a topic of extensive research in clinical and epidemiological studies. In the past two decades, at least 20 prospective cohort studies have examined the relationship between dietary factors and risk of CHD. This entry briefly reviews epidemiological and clinical trial evidence regarding the role of specific dietary factors in the cause and prevention of CHD. The classic “diet-heart” hypothesis postulates that high intake of saturated fats and cholesterol and low intake of polyunsaturated fat increase the level of serum cholesterol, which leads to development of atheromatous plaques and eventually to myocardial infarction. In the seminal Seven Countries Study conducted by Ancel Keys and colleagues (1980), intake of saturated fat as a percentage of calories had strong correlation with coronary death rates across 16 defined populations in seven countries ( r = .84). Interestingly, the correlation between the percentage r ...