Association between beta-carotene and acute myocardial infarction depends on polyunsaturated fatty acid status: The EURAMIC study
van 't Veer, P.
Centraal Instituut voor Voedingsonderzoek TNO
Because antioxidants may play a role in the prevention of coronary heart disease by inhibiting the peroxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), the combined association of diet-derived antioxidants and PUFAs with acute myocardial infarction (MI) was investigated. This multicenter case- control study included 674 patients and 725 control subjects in eight European countries and Israel. Fatty acid composition and α-tocopherol and β-carotene levels were determined in adipose tissue; selenium level was determined in toenails. For α-tocopherol no association with MI was observed at any PUFA level. The overall multivariate odds ratio (OR) for low (10th percentile) versus high (90th percentile) β-carotene was 1.98 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.39 to 2.82). The strength of this inverse association with MI was dependent on PUFA levels (in tertiles): for low PUFA, the OR for low versus high β-carotene was 1.79 (95% CI, 0.98 to 3.25), for medium PUFA the OR was 1.76 (95% CI, 1.00 to 3.11), and for high PUFA 3.47 (95% CI, 1.93 to 6.24). For selenium increased risk was observed only at the lowest PUFA tertile (OR, 2.49; 95% CI, 1.22 to 5.09). This interaction between selenium and PUFAs was not significant and may at least partly be explained by a higher proportion of smokers at the low PUFA level. These findings support the hypothesis that β-carotene plays a role in the protection of PUFAs against oxidation and subsequently in the protection against MI. No evidence was found that α-tocopherol or selenium may protect against MI at any level of PUFA intake.
To reference this document use:
Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, 15 (6), 726-732