Dietary guidelines recommend keeping the intake of saturated fatty acids (SFA) below 10% of total energy. The objective of this study is to assess the association between long-term SFA intake and the risk of coronary heart disease.

This longitudinal, prospective, cohort study included a total of 73,147 women and 42,635 men who were free of any major chronic diseases at baseline. The intake of SFAs was considered. The primary outcome of the study was the incidence of coronary heart disease and related deaths.

The mean intake of SFAs in the included participants comprised 9.0-11.3% of the total energy consumptions. The consumed SFAs primarily consisted of lauric acid (12.0), myristic acid (14.0), palmitic acid (16.0), and stearic acid (18.0). When compared with the lowest groups of SFA intakes, participants in the highest intake group were at a higher risk of developing coronary heart disease (hazard ratio 1.07-1.27, increasing with an increase in mean individual SFA intake). Multivariable adjustment suggested that every 1% energy increase from 16.0 mean SFA intake was associated with a 0.88 increase in HR.

The research concluded that a higher dietary intake of major SFAs was associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease.