Specific dietary patterns, including the Mediterranean diet, have been associated with stroke prevention. Our aim was to investigate whether adherence to a healthy Nordic diet, including fish, apples and pears, cabbages, root vegetables, rye bread, and oatmeal, was associated with risk of stroke.
Incident cases of stroke among 55?338 men and women from the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health cohort were identified from the Danish National Patient Register and verified by review of records. Cases of ischemic stroke were further subclassified based on etiology according to the TOAST classification system (Trial of Org 10172 in Acute Stroke Treatment). Information on diet was collected at baseline (1993-1997) using a semiquantitative food-frequency questionnaire. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate hazards ratios of total stroke and subtypes of ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke.
During a median follow-up of 13.5 years, 2283 cases of incident stroke were verified, including 1879 ischemic strokes. Adherence to a healthy Nordic diet, as reflected by a higher Healthy Nordic Food Index score, was associated with a lower risk of stroke. The hazards ratio comparing an index score of 4 to 6 (high adherence) with an index score of 0 to 1 (low adherence) was 0.86 (95% confidence interval 0.76-0.98) for total stroke. Inverse associations were observed for ischemic stroke, including large-artery atherosclerosis. No trend was observed for hemorrhagic stroke; however, a statistically insignificant trend was observed for intracerebral hemorrhage.
Our findings suggest that a healthy Nordic diet may be recommended for the prevention of stroke.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a multi-factorial disease in which diet is believed to play a role. Little is known about the health effects of specific regional diets. The Nordic diet is high in fat and sugar but also includes a range of traditional products with anticipated health-promoting effects. The aim of this cohort study was to determine whether a healthy Nordic food index consisting of fish, cabbage, rye bread, oatmeal, apples, pears and root vegetables was related to CRC incidence. Data were obtained from a prospective cohort study of 57,053 Danish men and women aged 50-64 years, of whom 1025 developed CRC (13 years' follow-up). Incidence rate ratios (IRR) with 95 % CI were calculated from Cox proportional hazard models. Women who strongly adhered to a healthy Nordic food index had a 35 % lower incidence of CRC than women with poor adherence (adjusted IRR, 0·65; 95 % CI 0·46, 0·94); a similar tendency was found for men. Women had a 9 % lower incidence of CRC per point adherence to the healthy Nordic food index, but no significant effect was found for men. A regional diet based on healthy Nordic food items was therefore associated with a lower incidence of CRC in women. The protective effect was of the same magnitude as previously found for the Mediterranean diet, suggesting that healthy regional diets should be promoted in order to ensure health; this will also preserve cultural heredity and the environment.
Type-2 diabetes (T2D) prevalence is rapidly increasing worldwide. Lifestyle factors, in particular obesity, diet, and physical activity play a significant role in the etiology of the disease. Of dietary patterns, particularly the Mediterranean diet has been studied, and generally a protective association has been identified. However, other regional diets are less explored.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the association between adherence to a healthy Nordic food index and the risk of T2D. The index consists of six food items: fish, cabbage, rye bread, oatmeal, apples and pears, and root vegetables.
Data was obtained from a prospective cohort study of 57,053 Danish men and women aged 50-64 years, at baseline, of whom 7366 developed T2D (median follow-up: 15.3 years). The Cox proportional hazards model was used to assess the association between the healthy Nordic food index and risk of T2D, adjusted for potential confounders.
Greater adherence to the healthy Nordic food index was significantly associated with lower risk of T2D after adjusting for potential confounders. An index score of 5-6 points (high adherence) was associated with a statistically significantly 25% lower T2D risk in women (HR: 0.75, 95%CI: 0.61-0.92) and 38% in men (HR: 0.62; 95%CI: 0.53-0.71) compared to those with an index score of 0 points (poor adherence).
Adherence to a healthy Nordic food index was found to be inversely associated with risk of T2D, suggesting that regional diets other than the Mediterranean may also be recommended for prevention of T2D.
Cites: N Engl J Med. 2001 May 3;344(18):1343-5011333990
There is evidence that consumption of foods containing dietary fiber decreases the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC). Whole grains contain dietary fiber, as well as a range of micronutrients and bioactive compounds, but the association between the consumption of whole grains and the risk of CRC remains less studied. The aim of the present study was to investigate the association between whole-grain bread consumption and CRC incidence among Norwegian women, using data from a prospective cohort study (the Norwegian Women and Cancer Study). Dietary intake was estimated from the food-frequency questionnaires of 78,254 women in the cohort (median age: 55 years), and these women were then followed up for CRC incidence. During the 9 years of median follow-up, 795 women were diagnosed with CRC (316 proximal, 193 distal, 218 rectal). Associations between whole-grain bread consumption and the risk of CRC (including colorectal subsites) were investigated using Cox proportional hazards regression models. When compared to the low consumption group, the hazard ratio for CRC was 0.89 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.72-1.09) for the high consumption group and 0.86 (95% CI: 0.72-1.02) for the medium consumption group in a multivariable model. Overall, no association between whole-grain bread consumption and CRC was found.
Cites: Nutr J. 2006;5:416448553
Cites: Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2006 May;15(5):892-616702366
Cites: Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 May;85(5):1353-6017490973
Type 2 diabetes is a major health concern worldwide. Whole grains and cereal fiber may offer protective effects on type 2 diabetes risk. However, few studies have been conducted in cohorts with detailed information on whole-grain cereal intakes and product types and with wide ranges of intake.
We investigated the associations between whole-grain intake, including intakes of different cereal types and products, and the risk of type 2 diabetes in a population with wide and diverse whole-grain intake.
We used data from the Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health cohort including 55,465 participants aged 50-65 y at baseline. Of these, 7417 participants were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes during follow-up (median: 15 y). Detailed information on the intake of whole-grain products was available from a food-frequency questionnaire, and total whole-grain intake and whole-grain cereal types (wheat, rye, oats) were calculated in grams per day. Associations were examined by using Cox proportional hazards models with adjustment for potential confounders.
Whole-grain intake was associated with an 11% and 7% lower risk of type 2 diabetes per whole-grain serving (16 g) per day for men and women, respectively [HR (95% CI)-men: 0.89 (0.87, 0.91); women: 0.93 (0.91, 0.96)]. For men, the intake of all whole-grain cereal types investigated (wheat, rye, oats) was significantly associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, but only wheat and oats intake was significantly associated for women. Among the different whole-grain products, rye bread, whole-grain bread, and oatmeal/muesli were significantly associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes for both men and women.
In this cohort study, we found consistent associations between high whole-grain intake and lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Overall, an association was found for all different cereals and whole-grain products tested.
The aim of the present study was to describe the intake of whole grain (WG) in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, and to investigate what proportion of the study population that met the new WG recommendation (75?g WG/day per 10?MJ).
Descriptive study. Data is from one 24h dietary recall (24HDR) collected in 1995-2000 from a subset (n?=?8,702) of the large Scandinavian cohort "HELGA" consisting of participants aged 30-65 years from three cohorts.
The mean WG intake was far below the recommended level. Between 16% (Danish men) and 35% (Norwegian women) consumed at least the recommended intake of WG. Among women, the median intake of WG products (g WG products/day) was 114?g/day in Norway and 108?g/day in Denmark, whereas the intake was much lower in Sweden (64?g/day). For women, the median intake of WG in absolute amounts (g WG/day) was again highest in Norway (44?g/day), but lower in both Sweden (35?g/day) and Denmark (31?g/day). For men (no data available for Norwegian men), the intake of WG products was higher in Denmark (138?g/day) compared to Sweden (79?g/day), but when looking at the WG intake in absolute amounts, the intake was highest in Sweden (49?g/day) compared to Denmark (41?g/day).
The present study described the intake of WG as well as the sources of WG in Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Between 16% and 35% met the new recommendations on intake of WG.
Few prospective studies have investigated the association between whole-grain consumption and incidence of oesophageal cancer. In the Scandinavian countries, consumption of whole grains is high and the incidence of oesophageal cancer comparably low. The aim of this paper was to study the associations between consumption of whole grains, whole-grain products and oesophageal cancer, including its two major histological subtypes. The HELGA cohort is a prospective cohort study consisting of three sub-cohorts in Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Information regarding whole-grain consumption was collected through country-specific food frequency questionnaires. Cancer cases were identified through national cancer registries. Cox proportional hazards ratios were calculated in order to assess the associations between whole grains and oesophageal cancer risk. The analytical cohort had 113,993 members, including 112 cases, and median follow-up time was 11 years. When comparing the highest tertile of intake with the lowest, the oesophageal cancer risk was approximately 45 % lower (adjusted HR 0.55, 95 % CI 0.31-0.97 for whole grains, HR 0.51, 95 % CI 0.30-0.88 for whole-grain products). Inverse associations were also found in continuous analyses. Whole-grain wheat was the only grain associated with lower risk (HR 0.32, 95 % CI 0.16-0.63 highest vs. lowest tertile). Among whole-grain products, the results were less clear, but protective associations were seen for the sum of whole-grain products, and whole-grain bread. Lower risk was seen in both histological subtypes, but particularly for squamous cell carcinomas. In this study, whole-grain consumption, particularly whole-grain wheat, was inversely associated with risk of oesophageal cancer.
A high intake of whole grains has been associated with a lower incidence of colorectal cancer, but few studies are available on the association with whole grains from different cereals, for example, wheat, rye and oats, and none has addressed these separately. The objective of this study was to investigate the association between whole-grain intake and colorectal cancer.
We used data from the large population-based Scandinavian cohort HELGA consisting of 108,000 Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian persons, of whom 1,123 developed colorectal cancer during a median of 11 years of follow-up. Detailed information on daily intake of whole-grain products, including whole-grain bread, crispbread, and breakfast cereals, was available, and intakes of total whole grains and specific whole-grain species (wheat, rye, and oats) were estimated. Associations between these whole-grain variables and the incidence of colorectal cancer were investigated using Cox proportional hazards models. Intake of whole-grain products was associated with a lower incidence of colorectal cancer per 50-g increment (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 0.94; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.89, 0.99), and the same tendency was found for total whole-grain intake (IRR pr. 25-g increment, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.88, 1.01). Intake of whole-grain wheat was associated with a lower incidence of colorectal cancer (IRR for highest versus lowest quartile of intake, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.51, 0.85), but no statistical significant linear trend was observed (p for trend: 0.18). No significant association was found for whole-grain rye or oats.
Whole-grain intake was associated with a lower incidence of colorectal cancer.
To identify the dietary, lifestyle and socio-economic factors associated with the intake of whole grains (WG) in Norway, Sweden and Denmark.
A cross-sectional study.
Subsample of the Scandinavian cohort 'HELGA' consisting of three prospective cohorts: The Norwegian Women and Cancer Study; The Northern Sweden Health and Disease Study; and the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health Study.
A total of 8702 men and women aged 30-65 years. Dietary data are from one 24 h dietary recall and data on socio-economic status and lifestyle factors including anthropometric values are from the baseline collection of data.
Vegetables, fruits, dairy products, fish and shellfish, coffee, tea and margarine were directly associated with the intake of WG, whereas red meat, white bread, alcohol and cakes and biscuits were inversely associated. Smoking and BMI were consistently inversely associated with the intake of WG. Furthermore, length of education was directly associated with the intake of WG among women.
The intake of WG was found to be directly associated with healthy diet, lifestyle and socio-economic factors and inversely associated with less healthy factors, suggesting that these factors are important for consideration as potential confounders when studying WG intake and disease associations.
High intake of whole grains has been associated with lower risk of coronary heart disease; however, the research that has been used to evaluate different effects of different whole-grain cereals (e.g., wheat, rye, and oats) has been sparse.
We investigated the association between whole-grain intake in terms of total intake and intakes of different cereals and myocardial infarction.
This prospective study included 54,871 Danish adults aged 50-64 y, of whom 2329 individuals developed myocardial infarction (13.6 y of follow-up). Detailed information on daily intake of whole-grain products was available from a self-administered food-frequency questionnaire, and intakes of total whole grain and whole-grain species (wheat, rye, and oats) were estimated. The association between intake of whole grains and risk of myocardial infarction was examined with the use of a Cox proportional hazards model adjusted for potential confounders.
For both men and women with total whole-grain intake in the highest quartile, lower risks of myocardial infarction were shown [HRs: 0.75 (95% CI: 0.65, 0.86) and 0.73 (95% CI: 0.58, 0.91), respectively] than for individuals with intake in the lowest quartile. When the specific cereal species were considered, rye and oats, but not wheat, were associated with lower myocardial infarction risk in men. No significant associations were seen in women. For total whole-grain products, significantly lower myocardial infarction risks were seen with higher intakes in both men and women. Rye bread (in men and women) and oatmeal (in men) were associated with significantly lower risk of myocardial infarction, whereas no significant association was shown for whole-grain bread, crispbread, and wheat.
In this study, we provide support for the hypothesis that whole-grain intake is related to lower risk of myocardial infarction and suggest that the cereals rye and oats might especially hold a beneficial effect.