Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death according to official mortality statistics in the Dominican Republic. The purpose of this study was to assess food intake and food consumption patterns of Dominicans and to discuss CHD risks related to nutrient intake. The subjects were 22 men and 81 women voluntarily recruited among 230 hospital workers in Santo Domingo. The mean nutrient intake and food consumption were estimated from a single 24-hour recall method administered by trained persons who elicited each subject's previous day's intake from midnight to midnight. The mean energy intake was 2030 kcal. The mean intake of total protein, total fat and carbohydrates were 66.3g, 89.1 g and 248g, respectively. Percentage of energy from total fat was 39.5%, which was higher than WHO recommendations. But, the percentage of animal fat per total fat was 46.8%. Especially, the value in the low income group was 31.7%. Moreover, we analyzed the food consumption structure in order to understand the Dominican dietary pattern, and three factors were found to explain the characteristics on the basis of factor analysis.
The low percentage of animal fat was due to the diets rich in vegetable oil. Our results suggested that it was difficult to assume that CHD risks increased as a result of the Dominican dietary pattern. This was consistent with our previous findings that the average serum cholesterol level of Dominicans was generally low.