European Journal of Nutrition

, Volume 58, Issue 2, pp 529–539 | Cite as

Adipose tissue fatty acids present in dairy fat and risk of stroke: the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health cohort

  • Anne Sofie Dam LaursenEmail author
  • Christina Catherine Dahm
  • Søren Paaske Johnsen
  • Erik Berg Schmidt
  • Kim Overvad
  • Marianne Uhre Jakobsen
Original Contribution



The role of dairy fat for the risk of stroke is not yet clear. Adipose tissue reflects long-term fatty acid intake and metabolism. We, therefore, investigated associations for percentages of adipose tissue fatty acids, for which dairy products are a major source (12:0, 14:0, 14:1 cis-9, 15:0, 17:0, 18:1 trans-11 and 18:2 cis-9, trans-11), with incident total stroke and stroke subtypes.


We conducted a case–cohort study within the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health cohort, including all incident stroke cases (n = 2108) and a random sample of the total cohort (n = 3186). The fatty acid composition of adipose tissue biopsies was determined by gas chromatography and specific fatty acids were expressed as percentage of total fatty acids. Stroke cases were identified in the Danish National Patient Registry and the diagnoses were individually verified.


We recorded 2108 stroke cases of which 1745 were ischemic, 249 were intracerebral hemorrhages and 102 were subarachnoid hemorrhages. We observed a lower rate of ischemic stroke for a higher adipose tissue percentage of 12:0, 14:0, 15:0, 17:0, 18:1 trans-11 and 18:2 cis-9, trans-11. Adipose tissue percentages of 15:0 and 18:1 trans-11 were also inversely associated with intracerebral hemorrhage, whereas no associations between the adipose tissue fatty acids and subarachnoid hemorrhage were observed. No associations between 14:1 cis-9 and ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke were found.


Our results suggest that a larger percentage in adipose tissue of fatty acids for which dairy products are a major source is associated with a lower rate of ischemic stroke.


Dairy fat Adipose tissue Stroke Cohort study 



We wish to thank the Danish Cancer Society and the study personnel of the Diet, Cancer and Health cohort for data collection and management. The primary data collection for the Diet, Cancer and Health cohort was funded by the Danish Cancer Society. The funding agency had no influence on the design, analysis or writing of this paper.


Aarhus University supported the presented project with a PhD fellowship.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

394_2018_1608_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (172 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 171 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Public Health, Section for EpidemiologyAarhus UniversityAarhus CDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Clinical EpidemiologyAarhus University HospitalAarhusDenmark
  3. 3.Department of CardiologyAalborg University HospitalAalborgDenmark
  4. 4.National Food Institute, Division for Diet, Disease Prevention and ToxicologyTechnical University of DenmarkKongens LyngbyDenmark

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