Three hundred and seventy-four general practitioners (GPs) in Denmark filled in a questionnaire on practices regarding prevention of coronary heart disease (CHD), cancer, osteoporosis, and overweight/underweight. Half of the GPs were questioned about the issue of prevention based upon female case stories and the other half on male case stories with identical wording. The GPs more often in relation to: Prevention of CHD gave dietary counselling and recommended weight loss to slightly overweight male than female patients. Prevention of cancers gave dietary counselling and recommended weight loss and increase of exercise to female than to male patients. Prevention of osteoporosis recommended a supplement of calcium and vitamin D to female than to male patients. Treatment of underweight recommended weight gain and discussion of psycho-social issues to underweight female than male patients. In conclusion, GPs distinguish between men and women in relation to prevention strategies in general practice. There is a need for well-described prevention and action strategies with relevant gender differentiation for use in general practice.
The aim of this study was to compare the quantities of alcohol and types of alcoholic beverages consumed, and the timing of consumption, in centres participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). These centres, in 10 European countries, are characterised by widely differing drinking habits and frequencies of alcohol-related diseases.
We collected a single standardised 24-hour dietary recall per subject from a random sample of the EPIC cohort (36 900 persons initially and 35 955 after exclusion of subjects under 35 and over 74 years of age). This provided detailed information on the distribution of alcohol consumption during the day in relation to main meals, and was used to determine weekly consumption patterns. The crude and adjusted (by age, day of week and season) means of total ethanol consumption and consumption according to type of beverage were stratified by centre and sex.
Sex was a strong determinant of drinking patterns in all 10 countries. The highest total alcohol consumption was observed in the Spanish centres (San Sebastian, 41.4 g day-1) for men and in Danish centres (Copenhagen, 20.9 g day-1) for women. The lowest total alcohol intake was in the Swedish centres (Umeå, 10.2 g day-1) in men and in Greek women (3.4 g day-1). Among men, the main contributor to total alcohol intake was wine in Mediterranean countries and beer in the Dutch, German, Swedish and Danish centres. In most centres, the main source of alcohol for women was wine except for Murcia (Spain), where it was beer. Alcohol consumption, particularly by women, increased markedly during the weekend in nearly all centres. The German, Dutch, UK (general population) and Danish centres were characterised by the highest percentages of alcohol consumption outside mealtimes.
The large variation in drinking patterns among the EPIC centres provides an opportunity to better understand the relationship between alcohol and alcohol-related diseases.
OBJECTIVE: Waist circumference is directly related to all-cause mortality when adjusted for body mass index (BMI). Body fat and fat-free body mass, when mutually adjusted, show with increasing values an increasing and decreasing relation to all-cause mortality. We investigated the association of waist circumference and body composition (body fat and fat-free mass), mutually adjusted, to all-cause mortality. DESIGN: A Danish prospective cohort study with a median follow-up period of 5.8 y. SUBJECTS: In all, 27 178 men and 29 875 women, born in Denmark, aged 50-64 y, and without diagnosis of cancer at the time of invitation. MEASUREMENTS: Waist circumference and body composition estimated from impedance measurements. Cox's regression models were used to estimate the mortality rate ratios (RR). RESULTS: Waist circumference was strongly associated with all-cause mortality after adjustment for body composition; the mortality RR was 1.36 (95% confidence intervals (CI): 1.22-1.52) times higher per 10% larger waist circumference among men and 1.30 (95% CI: 1.17-1.44) times higher among women. Adjustment for waist circumference eliminated the association between high values of the body fat mass index (BFMI) and all-cause mortality. The association between fat-free mass index (FFMI) and mortality remained unaltered. CONCLUSION: Waist circumference accounted for the mortality risk associated with excess body fat and not fat-free mass. Waist circumference remained strongly and directly associated with all-cause mortality when adjusted for total body fat in middle-aged men and women, suggesting that the increased mortality risk related to excess body fat is mainly due to abdominal adiposity.
OBJECTIVES: To study the association between alcohol drinking pattern and obesity. DESIGN: Cross-sectional population study with assessment of quantity and frequency of alcohol intake, waist and hip circumference, height, weight, and lifestyle factors including diet. SUBJECTS: In all, 25 325 men and 24 552 women aged 50-65 y from the Diet, Cancer and Health Study, Denmark, 1993-1997 participated in the study. MEASUREMENTS: Drinking frequency, total alcohol intake, body mass index (BMI), and waist and hip circumference. RESULTS: Among men, total alcohol intake was positively associated with high BMI (>/=30 kg/m(2)), large waist circumference (>/=102 cm) and inversely associated with small hip circumference (/=88 cm), and small hips only for the highest intake (28+ drinks/week). The most frequent drinkers had the lowest odds ratios (OR) for being obese. Among men, OR for having a high BMI were 1.39 (95% confidence interval: 1.36-1.64), 1.17 (1.02-1.34), 1.00 (reference), 0.87 (0.77-0.98), and 0.73 (0.65-0.82) for drinking 1-3 days/month, 1 day/week, 2-4 days/week, 5-6 days/week, and 7 days/week, respectively. Similar estimates were found for waist circumference. Corresponding results were found for women. CONCLUSION: For a given level of total alcohol intake, obesity was inversely associated with drinking frequency, whereas the amount of alcohol intake was positively associated with obesity. These results indicate that frequent drinking of small amounts of alcohol is the optimal drinking pattern in this relation.
BACKGROUND: Variation in diet associated with drinking patterns may explain why wine seems to reduce ischemic heart disease mortality. OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to study the association between intake of different alcoholic beverages and selected indicators of a healthy diet. DESIGN: This was a cross-sectional study conducted in Copenhagen and Aarhus, Denmark, from 1995 to 1997, and included 23 284 men and 25 479 women aged 50-64 y. The main outcome measures were groups of selected foods that were indicators of a healthy dietary pattern. RESULTS: Wine, as compared with other alcoholic drinks, was associated with a higher intake of fruit, fish, cooked vegetables, salad, and the use of olive oil for cooking in both men and women. Men who preferred beer and spirits had odds ratios of 0.42 (95% CI: 0.39, 0.45) and 0.51 (95% CI: 0.43, 0.60), respectively, for a high intake of salad compared with those who preferred wine. Higher wine intake was associated with a higher intake of healthy food items compared with intake of
Comment In: Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Jan;69(1):2-39925114
Three hundred and seventy-four general practitioners (GPs) in Denmark filled in a questionnaire on attitudes to include information on gender and diet in the strategy for prevention of coronary heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and overweight/underweight. Risk factors for disease in general were ranked as follows: smoking, alcohol, stress, diet, physical exercise, heredity and hygiene. The patients' lack of motivation, insufficient time for each patient, and inadequate knowledge about nutrition were stated as barriers to dietary counselling. The GPs stated that the gender of the patient was important only to the counselling on osteoporosis. Lack of time and insufficient knowledge were perceived as barriers for including gender specific issues in prevention. It is concluded that GPs consider dietary counselling important but lack time and knowledge. The results point at a need for better pre- and postgraduate training in nutrition, and for a better reimbursement system for time spent on prevention.
General practitioners (GPs) in Denmark (n = 374) answered a questionnaire on attitudes toward including information on diet and sex in the prevention of coronary artery disease, cancers, osteoporosis, and weight problems. Risk factors for disease were ranked as follows: smoking, alcohol, stress, diet, physical exercise, heredity, and hygiene. Patients' lack of motivation, insufficient time for each patient, and inadequate knowledge about nutrition were listed by GPs as barriers to dietary counseling. GPs stated that the sex of the patient was important only for counseling on osteoporosis. Lack of time and insufficient knowledge were perceived as barriers to including sex-specific issues in prevention. One-half of the GPs were questioned about the issue of prevention on the basis of female case stories and the other half on the basis of male case stories with identical wording. Responses to the case stories indicated that GPs would give dietary guidance and recommend loss of weight to slightly overweight male patients to a much greater degree than to overweight female patients for prevention of coronary artery disease, give dietary counseling and recommend loss of weight and exercise to female patients more than to male patients for prevention of cancers, recommend a supplement of calcium and vitamin D for prevention of osteoporosis to female patients, and recommend weight gain and discuss psychosocial issues more with underweight female patients than with underweight male patients. Female GPs included measures of prevention such as dietary counseling, exercise prescription, dietary supplement prescription, and discussion of psychosocial issues to a greater extent than did male GPs.
The role of diet in the aetiology of renal cell carcinoma was investigated in a population-based case-control study in Denmark. Cases were 20-79 years old, with a histologically verified diagnosis of renal cell carcinoma. Controls were sampled from the general population and were frequency-matched on age and sex. A total of 351 cases (73% of the eligible) and 340 controls (68% of the eligible) were included in the study. Dietary information was obtained in a self-administered food frequency questionnaire and the information was confirmed in a subsequent interview performed by trained interviewers who also elicited information on other suspected risk factors such as smoking, occupation, medical history, education and reproductive history. Logistic regression models were used to calculate the odds ratios, and, both frequency of consumption of various food stuffs and computed nutrients were examined. A positive association was observed between risk of renal cell carcinoma and total energy intake (odds ratio, OR, for highest quartile compared to lowest: 1.7 (95% confidence interval, CI, 1.0-3.0) for men, and 3.5 (95% CI 1.6-6.5) for women), fat intake (OR for highest quartile compared to lowest: 1.9 (95% CI 1.1-3.5) for men, and 3.3 (95% CI 1.6-6.9) for women). For women, an effect was also seen for intake of carbohydrates (OR for highest quartile compared to lowest: 3.2 (95% CI 1.5-6.8), while no protective effect was seen for vegetables or fruit. Dairy products may be associated with risk of renal cell cancer (OR for women using thickly spread butter compared to thinly spread: 11.4 (95% CI 2.8-45), OR for women who drank more than one glass of milk with 3.5% fat content compared to never drink milk: 3.7 (95% CI 1.2-11). As expected, total energy intake, intake of fat, protein and carbohydrates were closely correlated making it difficult to identify one of the energy sources as more closely associated with risk of renal cell cancer than the other. Several energy sources have been identified as possible risk factors for renal cell carcinoma. It is possible that a high energy intake as such rather than the individual sources are responsible for the increased risk. Furthermore, dairy fats may be associated with renal cell carcinoma risk. The observed associations appeared stronger in women, and did not explain the association with obesity and low socio-economic status previously found in Denmark.
OBJECTIVE: Smoking serves different functions for men and women. Thus, we wanted to investigate the association between smoking behaviour and intakes of selected healthy foods in men and women with special focus on differences and similarities between the two genders. DESIGN: In 1993-1997, a random sample of 80 996 men and 79 729 women aged 50-64 y was invited to participate in the study 'Diet, Cancer and Health'. In all, 27 179 men and 29 876 women attended a health examination and completed a 192-item food-frequency questionnaire (FFQ). The association between smoking status and low, median and high intakes of selected foods was examined among 25 821 men and 28 596 women. SETTING: The greater Copenhagen and Aarhus area, Denmark. RESULTS: For both men and women, smoking status group was associated with diet, such that increasing level of smoking status ranging from never smokers over ex-smokers to currently heavy smokers was associated with a lower intake of the healthy foods: fresh fruit, cooked vegetables, raw vegetables/salad, and olive oil. For wine, increasing level of smoking status category was associated with a higher fraction of abstainers and heavy drinkers. The difference between the extreme smoking status categories was larger than the difference between men and women within smoking status categories such that never smoking men in general had a higher intake of healthy foods than heavy smoking women. Correction for age, educational level, and body mass index (BMI) did not affect the results. CONCLUSION: In this middle-aged population, intake of healthy foods were associated with smoking behaviour with a dose-response type of relationship. The overall pattern was similar for men and women.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the diversity in dietary patterns existing across centres/regions participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). DESIGN AND SETTING: Single 24-hour dietary recall measurements were obtained by means of standardised face-to-face interviews using the EPIC-SOFT software. These have been used to present a graphic multi-dimensional comparison of the adjusted mean consumption of 22 food groups. SUBJECTS: In total, 35 955 men and women, aged 35-74 years, participating in the EPIC nested calibration study. RESULTS: Although wide differences were observed across centres, the countries participating in EPIC are characterised by specific dietary patterns. Overall, Italy and Greece have a dietary pattern characterised by plant foods (except potatoes) and a lower consumption of animal and processed foods, compared with the other EPIC countries. France and particularly Spain have more heterogeneous dietary patterns, with a relatively high consumption of both plant foods and animal products. Apart from characteristics specific to vegetarian groups, the UK 'health-conscious' group shares with the UK general population a relatively high consumption of tea, sauces, cakes, soft drinks (women), margarine and butter. In contrast, the diet in the Nordic countries, The Netherlands, Germany and the UK general population is relatively high in potatoes and animal, processed and sweetened/refined foods, with proportions varying across countries/centres. In these countries, consumption of vegetables and fruit is similar to, or below, the overall EPIC means, and is low for legumes and vegetable oils. Overall, dietary patterns were similar for men and women, although there were large gender differences for certain food groups. CONCLUSIONS: There are considerable differences in food group consumption and dietary patterns among the EPIC study populations. This large heterogeneity should be an advantage when investigating the relationship between diet and cancer and formulating new aetiological hypotheses related to dietary patterns and disease.