Mortality from coronary heart disease (CHD) has decreased dramatically in Sweden and other Western countries during recent decades. Researchers in regions including Europe, the United States, and New Zealand have used the previously validated IMPACT mortality model to investigate these trends in many countries in Europe and elsewhere. Briefly, the model provides an estimate of the effect of changes in risk factors (e.g., smoking, total blood cholesterol, systolic blood pressure (SBP), physical inactivity, diabetes, body mass index [BMI]) and medical treatments and interventions on past trends in CHD mortality under given scenarios.
This research aimed to examine the potential effect of different SFA intake on future coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality in 2025.
Based on the IMPACT model, the researchers concluded that approximately one third of the mortality decrease could be explained by increased use of effective medical treatments and interventions, and more than half of the decrease could be explained by population level improvements in risk factors, particularly a decrease in total blood cholesterol levels.
It was shown that an increase in saturated fat intake (up to 20% SFA daily) would increase the total blood cholesterol levels and cancel out the positive effects on CHD mortality from predicted decreases in salt intake, smoking, and physical inactivity. Conversely, small and readily achievable beneficial Saturated Fat and CHD Mortality dietary changes could substantially reduce CHD mortality. Furthermore, substituting “bad” saturated fat (mostly animal), with “good” monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (e.g. olive, sunflower, and canola oil) is eminently feasible.
On-trend improvements in smoking rate, salt intake and physical activity is predicted to reduce CHD mortality in Sweden by 2025 by 6,4%. Lowering SAFA intake to 10 %E while increasing PUFA and MUFA intake, is predicted to double the benefit on heart health to 14% CHD reduction.