Linoleic acid in adipose tissue and the risk of myocardial infarction: a case–cohort study

Maja H. Nielsen, Morten Frydenberg, Christian Sørensen Bork, Stine Krogh Venø, Anne Tjønneland, Erik Berg Schmidt, Kim Overvad, Marianne Uhre Jakobsen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Purpose: We investigated risk of myocardial infarction (MI) associated with the content of linoleic acid (LA) in adipose tissue, a biomarker of long-term dietary intake of LA and a marker of endogenous LA exposure.
Methods: Between 1993 and 1997, 57,053 middle-aged subjects were included in the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health cohort. We performed a case-cohort study that included a random sample of the full cohort (n=3167) and all incident MI cases appearing during 16 years of follow-up (n=2819). Information on incident MI cases was obtained by linkage with Danish nationwide registries. Adipose tissue biopsies were taken from the buttocks of the participants, and their fatty acid composition was determined using gas chromatography. HRs (hazard ratios) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were used to describe the associations between content of LA in adipose tissue and the risk of MI. HRs were calculated using weighted Cox proportional hazards regression with robust variance.
Results: After adjustment for established risk factors of MI, adipose tissue content of LA was not associated with the risk of MI in men and women combined (quintiles 5 versus 1, HR, 1.03 (95% CI, 0.85-1.25), P trend=0.970) or in men and women separately (quintiles 5 versus 1, HR, 1.05 (95% CI, 0.83-1.33), P-trend=0.871 and quintiles 5 versus 1, HR, 0.99 (95% CI 0.72-1.37), P-trend=0.928, respectively). Investigating the association between LA and MI with a shorter, 5- or 10-year duration of follow-up provided similar results
Conclusion: Content of LA in adipose tissue was not associated with the risk of MI.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Nutrition
Pages (from-to)3639–3646
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Adipose tissue
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Linoleic acid
  • Myocardial infarction
  • N-6 fatty acids
  • Omega-6 fatty acids


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