In the 1970s, men in northern Sweden had among the highest prevalences of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) worldwide. An intervention program combining population- and individual-oriented activities was initiated in 1985. Concurrently, collection of information on medical risk factors, lifestyle and anthropometry started. Today, these data make up one of the largest databases in the world on diet intake in a population-based sample, both in terms of sample size and follow-up period. The study examines trends in food and nutrient intake, serum cholesterol and body mass index (BMI) from 1986 to 2010 in northern Sweden.
Cross-sectional information on self-reported food and nutrient intake and measured body weight, height, and serum cholesterol were compiled for over 140,000 observations. Trends and trend breaks over the 25-year period were evaluated for energy-providing nutrients, foods contributing to fat intake, serum cholesterol and BMI.
Reported intake of fat exhibited two significant trend breaks in both sexes: a decrease between 1986 and 1992 and an increase from 2002 (women) or 2004 (men). A reverse trend was noted for carbohydrates, whereas protein intake remained unchanged during the 25-year period. Significant trend breaks in intake of foods contributing to total fat intake were seen. Reported intake of wine increased sharply for both sexes (more so for women) and export beer increased for men. BMI increased continuously for both sexes, whereas serum cholesterol levels decreased during 1986 - 2004, remained unchanged until 2007 and then began to rise. The increase in serum cholesterol coincided with the increase in fat intake, especially with intake of saturated fat and fats for spreading on bread and cooking.
Men and women in northern Sweden decreased their reported fat intake in the first 7 years (1986-1992) of an intervention program. After 2004 fat intake increased sharply for both genders, which coincided with introduction of a positive media support for low carbohydrate-high-fat (LCHF) diet. The decrease and following increase in cholesterol levels occurred simultaneously with the time trends in food selection, whereas a constant increase in BMI remained unaltered. These changes in risk factors may have important effects on primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Cites: Scand J Public Health Suppl. 2003;61:18-2414660243
The Mediterranean diet has been widely promoted and may be associated with chronic disease prevention and a better overall health status. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the Mediterranean diet score inversely predicted total or cause-specific mortality in a prospective population study in Northern Sweden (Västerbotten Intervention Program). The analyses were performed in 77,151 participants (whose diet was measured by means of a validated FFQ) by Cox proportional hazard models adjusted for several potential confounders. The Mediterranean diet score was inversely associated with all-cause mortality in men [HR = 0.96 (95% CI = 0.93, 0.99)] and women [HR = 0.95 (95% CI = 0.91, 0.99)], although not in obese men. In men, but not in women, the score was inversely associated with total cancer mortality [HR = 0.92 (95% CI = 0.87, 0.98)], particularly for pancreas cancer [HR = 0.82 (95% CI = 0.68, 0.99)]. Cardiovascular mortality was inversely associated with diet only in women [HR = 0.90 (95% CI = 0.82, 0.99)]. Except for alcohol [HR = 0.83 (95% CI = 0.76, 0.90)] and fruit intake [HR = 0.90 (95% CI = 0.83, 0.98)], no food item of the Mediterranean diet score independently predicted mortality. Higher scores were associated with increasing age, education, and physical activity. Moreover, healthful dietary and lifestyle-related factors additively decreased the mortality likelihood. Even in a subarctic region, increasing Mediterranean diet scores were associated with a longer life, although the protective effect of diet was of small magnitude compared with other healthful dietary and lifestyle-related factors examined.
To examine the relationship between "traditional Sami" dietary pattern and mortality in a general northern Swedish population.
Population-based cohort study.
We examined 77,319 subjects from the Västerbotten Intervention Program (VIP) cohort. A traditional Sami diet score was constructed by adding 1 point for intake above the median level of red meat, fatty fish, total fat, berries and boiled coffee, and 1 point for intake below the median of vegetables, bread and fibre. Hazard ratios (HR) for mortality were calculated by Cox regression.
Increasing traditional Sami diet scores were associated with slightly elevated all-cause mortality in men [Multivariate HR per 1-point increase in score 1.04 (95% CI 1.01-1.07), p=0.018], but not for women [Multivariate HR 1.03 (95% CI 0.99-1.07), p=0.130]. This increased risk was approximately equally attributable to cardiovascular disease and cancer, though somewhat more apparent for cardiovascular disease mortality in men free from diabetes, hypertension and obesity at baseline [Multivariate HR 1.10 (95% CI 1.01-1.20), p=0.023].
A weak increased all-cause mortality was observed in men with higher traditional Sami diet scores. However, due to the complexity in defining a "traditional Sami" diet, and the limitations of our questionnaire for this purpose, the study should be considered exploratory, a first attempt to relate a "traditional Sami" dietary pattern to health endpoints. Further investigation of cohorts with more detailed information on dietary and lifestyle items relevant for traditional Sami culture is warranted.
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