The constituents of the fat of 136 decedents who had died of ischaemic heart disease are compared with the constituents of the fat from 95 controls who had died from other causes. The cases had a lower concentration of fatty acids (L) characteristic of ruminant animal fat and a higher concentration of total transunsaturated acids (T), but the concentrations of certain higher (C20 and C22 mostly monoenoic) acids (H) were similar. The ratio T/L was higher in the cases, which suggests that the cases may have consumed more hydrogenated fats in life than had the controls. The ratio T/L increased linearly with H within both the case and control specimens, which suggests in view of the similarity in the mean levels of H that the difference in trans contents may be concentrated in the lower (18:1 and 16:1) trans acids.
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