INTRODUCTION: The aim of the present study was to quantify the impact of different dietary factors on the mortality from ischaemic heart disease in Denmark. METHODS: Relative risks and knowledge on the distribution of different dietary factors were used to estimate etiological fractions. RESULTS: It is estimated that an intake of fruit and vegetables and saturated fat as recommended would prevent 12 and 22%, respectively, of deaths from ischaemic heart disease in Denmark. An intake of fish among those at high risk for ischaemic heart disease, would lead to a 26% lower mortality, while alcohol intake among abstainers would have no significant quantitative effect. DISCUSSION: These results suggest that changes in dietary habits according to current recommendations would have an impact on public health in Denmark.
Variation in diet associated with drinking patterns may partly explain why wine seems to reduce ischaemic heart disease mortality. In a cross-sectional study conducted in Copenhagen and Aarhus from 1995 to 1997 including 23,284 men and 25,479 women aged 50-64 years, the relation between intake of different alcoholic beverages and selected indicators of a healthy diet was investigated. In multivariate analyses, wine, as compared with other alcoholic drinks, was associated with a higher intake of fruit, fish, cooked vegetables, salad, the use of olive oil for cooking and not using fat spread on rye bread. In conclusion, the association between wine drinking and an intake of a healthy diet may have implications for the interpretation of previous reports of the relation between type of alcoholic beverage and ischaemic heart disease mortality.
OBJECTIVE: To describe drinking patterns among individuals who prefer drinking wine, beer or spirits. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study obtaining detailed information on intake of wine, beer and spirits and on frequency of alcohol intake. Adjustment for gender, age, smoking habits, educational attainment and body mass index. SETTING: Denmark. SUBJECTS: 27, 151 men and 29, 819 women, randomly selected from Copenhagen and Aarhus, Denmark. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Drinking pattern-steady or binge drinking. RESULTS: A vast majority (71%) of both men and women preferred wine or beer. At all levels of total alcohol intake, beer drinkers were most likely to be frequent drinkers. Thus, light drinkers of beer had an odds ratio for being frequent drinkers of 1.97 (95% confidence limits 1.50-2.58) as compared to light drinkers of wine (total alcohol intake 3-30 drinks per month), while people who preferred beer had an odds ratio of 1. 29 (1.19-1.40) compared with wine drinkers in the moderate drinking category (31-134 drinks per month). There were no significant differences in total alcohol intake between individuals preferring different alcoholic beverages. CONCLUSION: If binge drinking is less healthy than steady drinking, the relation between wine intake and coronary heart disease mortality could be subject to negative confounding, since beer drinkers seem to have the most sensible drinking pattern. SPONSORSHIP: Danish Cancer Society and the Danish National Board of Health. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2000) 54, 174-176