Trans fat and coronary heart disease

The higher the trans fat intake the greater the CHD risk

In the Zutphen Elderly Study, a difference of 2% of energy from trans fat at baseline was associated with a 28% difference in risk of 10-year coronary heart disease (CHD) incidence. The strength of the association was similar for trans fat from manufactured and natural sources.

We calculated that the decrease in trans fat of 2.4 % of energy between 1985 and 1995 could have contributed to 23% fewer coronary deaths (equal to about 4,600 of 20,000 coronary deaths in the Netherlands per year).

Trans-fatty acids and CHD

A phenomenal decrease in trans fat intake in the diet of the Zutphen men

One of the characteristics of the Dutch diet in 1960 was its high amount of trans fat, due to the high content of hydrogenated hardened fish oils in solid fats. The decrease in trans fat intake between 1960 and 2000 has been the most important change in the Dutch diet. The average intake decreased from 19 gram/day (7% of energy) to 4 g/d (1% of energy) in the Zutphen Study. The spectacular decrease in trans fat between 1960 and 2000 started already before the Dutch margarine producers decided, in 1994, to reduce the trans fat content of margarines.

About the Zutphen Elderly Study

The Zutphen Elderly Study is an extension of the original Zutphen Study with a sample of the same age where detailed information on the diet of all the participants was collected four times between 1985 and 2000.  Read more about the Zutphen (Elderly) Study.

More about healthy aging

From 1984 onwards, additional studies started to examine indicators of healthy ageing in the elderly populations of in the SCS and related studies.


Widowhood and disability

The associations of different aspects of widowhood with disability were investigated in elderly men from Finland, Italy and The Netherlands in the FINE Study.

More about the relationship between diet and CHD