STUDY OBJECTIVE--The aim was to investigate the effects of dietary intakes of different types of sugars (extrinsic, intrinsic, and lactose) and the dietary fat to sugar ratio on prevalent coronary heart disease (CHD). DESIGN--This was a baseline cross sectional survey of CHD risk factors. SETTING--Twenty two Scottish health districts were surveyed between 1984 and 1986. PARTICIPANTS--A total of 10,359 men and women aged 40-59 years were screened as part of the Scottish Heart Health Study, and a further 1267 men and women aged 25-39 and 60-64 years were screened as part of the Scottish MONICA (monitoring trends and determinants in cardiovascular disease) Study. The response rates were 74% and 64% respectively. METHODS--Subjects completed a questionnaire which included sociodemographic, health, and food frequency information. Medical history, response to the Rose chest pain questionnaire, and results of a 12 lead ECG recording were used to categorize subjects into CHD diagnosed, previously CHD undiagnosed, or no CHD groups. The chi 2 statistic was used to determine whether the CHD groups differed in their sugar consumption, and multiple logistic regression analysis, with adjustment for other potential coronary risk factors, was used to calculate odds ratios for prevalent CHD by intake fifths of dietary sugars. MAIN RESULTS--Men, but not women, differed in their sugar consumption by CHD group. The odds ratios showed a tendency for a U shaped relationship for extrinsic sugar intake with CHD prevalence, but no significant effect of the fat to sugar ratio (possible marker of obesity) on CHD was seen. CONCLUSIONS--The results suggest that neither extrinsic sugar, intrinsic sugar, nor the fat to sugar ratio are significant independent predictors of prevalent CHD in the Scottish population, when the other major risk factors such as cigarette smoking, blood cholesterol concentration, and antioxidant vitamins intake are accounted for. These new data for different sugar types agree with the consensus view that total sugar intake is not a major marker of coronary heart disease.
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