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High plasma linoleic acid levels tied to cardiovascular risk factors

08 Jan 2021

A cross-sectional study in Norway reports the positive association of high plasma linoleic acid (LA) with several cardiovascular (CV) risk factors.

“A high intake of LA, the major dietary polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA), has previously been associated with reduced CV morbidity and mortality in observational studies,” the authors said. “However, recent secondary analyses from clinical trials of LA-rich diet suggest harmful effects of LA on CV health.”

To address such findings, 3,706 participants born in 1950 were analysed in this study. The authors examined associations between plasma phospholipid levels of LA and CV risk factors in a Norwegian general population, characterized by a relative low LA and high marine n-3 PUFA intake. Multivariable linear regression was used as the main statistical approach.

Plasma phospholipid LA levels ranged from 11.4–32.0 wt%, with a median level of 20.8 wt% (interquartile range, 16.8–24.8 wt%).

High plasma LA levels correlated with lower serum low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels (standardized regression coefficient [Std β-coeff], –0.04; p=0.02), serum triglycerides (Std β-coeff, –0.10; p<0.001), fasting plasma glucose (Std β-coeff, –0.10; p<0.001), body mass index (Std β-coeff, –0.13; p<0.001), systolic (Std β-coeff, –0.04; p=0.03) and diastolic blood pressure (Std β-coeff, –0.02; p=0.02), and estimated glomerular filtration rate (Std β-coeff, –0.09; p<0.001).

Plasma LA levels were not associated with high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, glycated haemoglobin, carotid intima-media thickness, or C-reactive protein.

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