Serum cholesterol and dietary data in middle aged white males

Rossouw D.J. ; Engelbrecht F.M. ; Fourie J.J. ; Van Heerden L.E. (1977)


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The mean daily dietary intake of normocholesterolaemic subjects (serum cholesterol less than 250 mg/100 ml) was compared with that of hypercholesterolaemic subjects (250 mg/100 ml or higher). Apart from a higher polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) intake in the hypercholesterolaemic group, no other significant differences could be demonstrated between the two groups. Simple linear correlation coefficients (r) were calculated for the total sample, and the positive correlation (r = 0,29) between the serum cholesterol and the percentage of kilojoules derived from PUFA, was the only dietary variable to reach a statistically significant value (P<0.05). A stepwise regression analysis was used to calculate a multiple regression relationship (R2) between the dependent variable and the dietary variables. The results showed PUFA, total protein and saturated fatty acids (SFA) to have the highest cumulative influence on the serum cholesterol concentration. Only 29% of the variation in the serum cholesterol could be explained by the first 6 of 30 dietary variables tested in this survey. It was concluded that the small differences in the nutritional status among individuals from homogenous sample populations as well as the fact that non linear relationships would not be reflected in the correlation coefficient, make it difficult to establish significant relationships between the dietary data and serum cholesterol concentration.

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