Research Article

Fatty-acid composition of serum lipids predicts myocardial infarction.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982; 285 doi: (Published 09 October 1982) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982;285:993
  1. T A Miettinen,
  2. V Naukkarinen,
  3. J K Huttunen,
  4. S Mattila,
  5. T Kumlin


    During a follow-up of five to seven years 33 out of 1222 middle-aged men initially free of coronary heart disease sustained fatal or non-fatal myocardial infarction or died suddenly. The fatty-acid composition of serum triglycerides, phospholipids, and cholesterol esters had been measured at the start of the surveillance in these men and in a control group of 64 men matched for age, serum cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations, blood pressure, obesity, smoking, and one-hour glucose tolerance. Palmitic and stearic acids of phospholipids were significantly higher and linoleic and most polyunsaturated fatty acids, including arachidonic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid, of phospholipids were lower in the subjects who sustained coronary events compared with the controls. Linoleic acid tended to correlate negatively with blood pressure while other polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially eicosapentaenoic acid, exhibited a negative correlation with blood pressure and relative body weight in the controls but not in the subjects who sustained coronary events. These findings suggest that the fatty-acid pattern of serum phospholipids is an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease.