Author Topic: Food consumption and the actual statistics of cardiovascular diseases  (Read 970 times)

Offline Eric

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Background: The aim of this ecological study was to identify the main nutritional factors related to the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) in Europe, based on a comparison of international statistics.

Design: The mean consumption of 62 food items from the FAOSTAT database (1993–2008) was compared with the actual statistics of five CVD indicators in 42 European countries. Several other exogenous factors (health expenditure, smoking, body mass index) and the historical stability of results were also examined.

Results: We found exceptionally strong relationships between some of the examined factors, the highest being a correlation between raised cholesterol in men and the combined consumption of animal fat and animal protein (r=0.92, p<0.001). The most significant dietary correlate of low CVD risk was high total fat and animal protein consumption. Additional statistical analyses further highlighted citrus fruits, high-fat dairy (cheese) and tree nuts. Among other non-dietary factors, health expenditure showed by far the highest correlation coefficients. The major correlate of high CVD risk was the proportion of energy from carbohydrates and alcohol, or from potato and cereal carbohydrates. Similar patterns were observed between food consumption and CVD statistics from the period 1980–2000, which shows that these relationships are stable over time. However, we found striking discrepancies in men’s CVD statistics from 1980 and 1990, which can probably explain the origin of the ‘saturated fat hypothesis’ that influenced public health policies in the following decades.

Full study:  http://www.foodandnutritionresearch.net/index.php/fnr/article/view/31694