Intake of dietary flavonoids and incidence of ischemic heart disease in the Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health cohort

Benjamin H. Parmenter, Frederik Dalgaard, Kevin Murray, Guillaume Marquis-Gravel, Aedin Cassidy, Catherine P. Bondonno, Joshua R. Lewis, Kevin D. Croft, Cecilie Kyro, Gunnar Gislason, Augustin Scalbert, Anne Tjonneland, Kim Overvad, Jonathan M. Hodgson, Nicola P. Bondonno

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Background/Objectives Few studies have investigated the association between dietary flavonoid intake, including all major subclasses, and the long-term risk of ischemic heart disease (IHD). We examined whether dietary flavonoid intake associated with IHD incidence, assessing the possible modifying role of sex and smoking, in participants from the Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health study. Subjects/Methods In a cohort study design, 54,496 adults (46.8% male), aged 50-64 years, without a history of IHD, were followed for up to 23 years. Habitual dietary flavonoid intake was estimated from food frequency questionnaires using Phenol-Explorer. Incident cases of IHD were identified within Danish nationwide health registries. Restricted cubic splines in Cox proportional hazards models were used to examine associations between flavonoid intake and IHD risk. Results During follow-up, 5560 IHD events were recorded. No overall association was seen between total flavonoid intake, nor any subclass, and IHD, following adjustment for demographics, lifestyle, and dietary confounders. Stratified by sex and smoking status, higher intakes of specific subclasses associated with lower IHD risk among ever-smokers [Q5 vs. Q1 flavonols HR (95% CI): 0.90 (0.82, 0.99); flavanol oligo+polymers: 0.88 (0.80, 0.97)], but not among never-smokers, nor either sex specifically. Conclusions While we did not find clear evidence that higher habitual dietary flavonoid intake was associated with lower IHD risk, these results do not exclude the possibility that certain subclasses may have a protective role in prevention of IHD among population sub-groups; this was evident among smokers, who are at a higher risk of atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-277
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number2
Early online date25 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


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  • Cardiovascular health benefits of dietary flavonoids

    Parmenter, B., 2022, (Unpublished)

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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