The cross-sectional association between consumption of various fats (eg, butter, olive oil, and vegetable oil) and risk factors for coronary heart disease was analyzed in a sample of 4903 Italian men and women 20 to 59 years of age. The intake of fats was ascertained by an interviewer-administered questionnaire. Increased consumption of butter was associated with significantly higher blood pressure and serum cholesterol and glucose levels for men; in women only the association with glucose reached statistical significance. In both sexes consumption of olive oil and vegetable oil was inversely associated with serum cholesterol and glucose levels and systolic blood pressure. These findings were adjusted for confounding effects of other risk factors for cardiovascular disease. These cross-sectional findings from a large population sample suggest that consumption of butter may detrimentally affect coronary risk factors, while polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats may be associated with a lower coronary risk profile.
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