Is conjugated linoleic acid linked to HF risk in older men?

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  • In this study involving older British men, serum conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) was associated with a lower risk for heart failure (HF) despite of unfavourable effects on blood lipids.
  • Association observed only in those with high dairy intake, which is a major dietary CLA source.

Why this matters

  • Findings of this study have important implications on dietary interventions for preventing HF in older men at higher risk for HF.
  • Further trials in different population should confirm if increasing dietary CLA could reduce HF risk.

Study design

  • 3806 men (age, 60-79 years) from the British Regional Heart Study without diagnosis of HF were followed up for an average of 13 years.
  • CLA measured as a percentage of total fatty acids (CLA%).
  • Funding: British Heart Foundation.

Key results

  • After adjusting for HF risk factors, higher CLA% was associated with significantly reduced risk for HF (aHRquartile 4 vs 1, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.43-0.96).
  • Association between CLA% and reduced HF risk was seen only in those with high dairy intake (aHRquartile 4 vs 1, 0.41; 95% CI, 0.17-0.98; Pinteraction=.03).
  • Higher CLA% was associated with lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (Ptrend<.0001), higher total cholesterol (Ptrend<.0001) and higher systolic BP (Ptrend=.005).
  • No such association was observed for coronary heart disease.


  • Study limited to older, predominantly white European males.
  • Self-administered questionnaire evaluated dairy intake.