Total Fats, Saturated Fatty Acids, Processed Foods and Acute Coronary Syndrome in Transitional Albania
Iris Mone, Anyla Bulo
Mat Soc Med. 2012; 24(2): 91-93

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Background: We aimed was to assess the association of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) with selected food groups pertinent to non-Mediterranean prototype in Albania, a transitional post-communist country in Southeast Europe. Methods: We conducted a case-control study in Tirana in 2003-2006 including 467 non-fatal consecutive ACS patients (370 men aged 59.1±8.7 years, 97 women aged 63.3±7.1 years; 88% response) and a population-based control group (469 men aged 53.1±10.4 years, 268 women aged 54.0±10.9 years; 69% response). A semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire including 105 food items was administered to all participants based on which the daily calorie intake for selected food groups (meat products, overall oils and fats, sweets, and junk food) was calculated. General linear model was used to assess the association of food groups with ACS. Results: Mean age-adjusted values of meat products, overall oils and fats, sweets and junk food were all considerably higher in cases than controls in both sexes. Cases had significantly higher mean “non-Mediterranean” diet scores (consisting of junk food, sweets, oils and fats except olive oil) than controls (10.3% vs. 5.9% in men and 15.2% vs. 8.3% in women, P<0.01 for both). Conclusions: In this Albanian population, intake of total fats, in particular saturated fatty acids was associated with a higher risk of ACS in both sexes. Furthermore, the consumption of processed foods was associated with considerable excess coronary risk which points to serious health implications for the Albanian adult population.


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