In a prospective study of risk factors for ischaemic heart disease 792 54 year old men selected by year of birth (1913) and residence in Gothenburg agreed to attend for questioning and a battery of anthropometric and other measurements in 1967. Thirteen years later these baseline findings were reviewed in relation to the numbers of men who had subsequently suffered a stroke, ischaemic heart disease, or death from all causes. Neither quintiles nor deciles of initial indices of obesity (body mass index, sum of three skinfold thickness measurements, waist or hip circumference) showed a significant correlation with any of the three end points studied. Statistically significant associations were, however, found between the waist to hip circumference ratio and the occurrence of stroke (p = 0.002) and ischaemic heart disease (p = 0.04). When the confounding effect of body mass index or the sum of three skinfold thicknesses was accounted for the waist to hip circumference ratio was significantly associated with all three end points. This ratio, however, was not an independent long term predictor of these end points when smoking, systolic blood pressure, and serum cholesterol concentration were taken into account. These results indicate that in middle aged men the distribution of fat deposits may be a better predictor of cardiovascular disease and death than the degree of adiposity.
Oral body temperature was measured in 816 men, 57 and 67 years old, sampled from the general population of Göteborg, Sweden, and 22 physically highly active men, sampled on clinical grounds. The measurements were taken in the morning for 14 months. After adding 0.3 degrees C to the readings to make them comparable with rectal readings, the mean body temperature was 36.8 +/- 0.4 degrees C. There was a seasonal variation with a peak during the winter and a trough during the summer. Body temperature was inversely correlated with height and positively correlated with weight and body fat but not with lean body mass. High physical activity and sensitivity to heat were associated with a higher than average body temperature. Sensitivity to cold was associated with a lower than average body temperature. Smoking prior to the measurements did not appear to affect body temperature.
Dyspnoea is one of the earliest symptoms in several conditions, such as heart disease and airway obstruction. However, the early phases of these two conditions are hard to distinguish in a reproducible way. In a population study of the natural history and epidemiology of congestive heart failure a scoring test to differentiate the two conditions was developed. In this report the test is presented and evaluated against various clinical and laboratory measures in 644 men sampled from the general population. The test provides a 'cardiac score' and a 'pulmonary score', both based on history and findings at the physical examination. Men who had pulmonary scores (indicating a pulmonary cause of the dyspnoea) had significantly lower values of spirometry variables but no significant pulmonary congestion at X-ray compared to a reference group (no dyspnoea, no pulmonary scores). Men with cardiac scores had significantly larger hearts and more congestion but no significant change of variables measuring airways obstruction compared to the reference group (no dyspnoea, no cardiac scores). Even though there was a moderate overlap of impaired cardiac and pulmonary function in the dyspnoea group, perhaps due to smoking being a common causal agent, the test appears to differentiate the causes of dyspnoea in a manner similar to clinical evaluation but, in contrast to the latter, in a defined and therefore reproducible way.
Mortality from coronary heart disease (CHD) increased among Swedish men between 1968 and 1981, but after that, began to decline. CHD mortality in women decreased slightly, mostly among older women. From 1980, the incidence of non-fatal myocardial infarction (MI) started to decrease among men. Among middle-aged women, however, there was a significantly increased incidence. Mortality during the two years following hospital discharge decreased both in men and women between 1968 and 1985 in Gothenburg. Between one-sixth and one-fifth of major CHD events occur among patients with previous MI or angina pectoris. Serum cholesterol and smoking habits increased among middle-aged men from 1963 to 1973, but decreased thereafter. Blood pressure decreased, and the percentage of people on treatment increased. Blood pressure and serum cholesterol decreased among middle-aged women, but smoking and triglycerides increased. These different trends might explain an increasing CHD incidence among younger women but decreasing incidence and mortality among older women.
As part of a study of the epidemiology of diabetes mellitus in middle-aged Swedish men, the present paper reports the prevalence and incidence of diabetes and the prevalence of impaired glucose tolerance. Two cohorts of 50-year-old men, representative of the corresponding male population of Gothenburg, Sweden, were examined in 1963 and 1973, respectively, and then followed until 1980. In the cohort of men born in 1913 (n = 855) the diabetes prevalence (WHO criteria), based on a questionnaire and fasting blood glucose, increased from 1.5% at age 50 to 7.6% at age 67. In the cohort of men born in 1923 (n = 226) the prevalence was 3.7% at age 50 and 4.0% at age 57. The overall prevalence of diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance was 25% among men born in 1913 (age 67) and 18% among men born in 1923 (age 57). The cumulative risk of developing diabetes from age 50 to 67 was 7.8%. Variables associated with impaired glucose tolerance and newly found diabetes, when degree of obesity was considered, were systolic blood pressure and triglycerides, well known risk factors for both coronary heart disease and diabetes. Uric acid, fasting insulin and glutamic puruvic transaminase, recently discussed as possible risk factors, were also associated with impaired glucose tolerance and newly found diabetes. Thus, both impaired glucose tolerance and newly found diabetes were associated with a clustering of risk factors, not only for diabetes but also for coronary heart disease.
In a longitudinal population study, 855 men, born in 1913 and initially examined when 50 years old, were followed for 17 years with measurements of dyspnoea and other variables performed at ages 50, 54, and 67 years. In addition a sample of 226 men born in 1923 was followed from 50 to 57 years of age. At the latest examination, four different methods for measuring dyspnoea were used, one based on questionnaire, one on interview, and two on visual analogue scales. The estimates from these methods were highly intercorrelated, and correlated with measures of cardiopulmonary function as well. The prevalence of dyspnoea grade 2 (shortness of breath when walking with someone of the same age on the level) or more, not counting the mildest form of dyspnoea in these populations, was 2.8%, 3.0%, 5.2% and 10.3% at 50, 54, 57 and 67 years of age, respectively. Dyspnoea grade 1 (shortness of breath when walking quickly on the level or uphill) was less well related to age. A scoring system to differentiate various possible causes of dyspnoea was applied. About one third of the dyspnoeic men had signs and symptoms of cardiac disease, one quarter had pulmonary disease, and a quarter had a combination of both causes. The remaining 20% had no signs or symptoms indicating cardiopulmonary disease but in the majority of the cases other plausible causes were found.
A cross-sectional analysis of characteristics possibly associated with congestive heart failure (CHF) was performed among 644 men, all 67 years of age and randomly selected from the general population. A total of 13% had symptoms and signs of overt CHF. Another 10% had early or "latent" CHF. Among overt CHF cases, 46% had hypertension, 55% coronary heart disease and 79% any one of these conditions. Among "latent" CHF cases, the corresponding proportions were 52%, 25% and 65%. Simple indices of left ventricular diastolic function and filling pressure as well as of pulmonary artery pressure were closer related to the CHF stage, than were measures of systolic left ventricular function. Smoking habits, hypertension, blood lipids, weight and other measures of body fat, blood glucose, and serum insulin were all correlated to CHF stage. In a multivariate analysis, smoking habits, hypertension, body weight, and serum insulin were independently and significantly correlated to CHF stage.
From theSection of Preventive Cardiology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital/Östra, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg Department of Family Medicine, Uppsala University, Uppsala Department of Mathematics, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg Department of Medicine, Lidköping Hospital, Lidköping, Sweden.
Abstract. Wilhelmsen L, Svärdsudd K, Eriksson H, Rosengren A, Hansson P-O, Welin C, Odén A, Welin L (Sahlgrenska University Hospital/Östra, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg; Uppsala University, Uppsala; Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg; and Lidköping Hospital, Lidköping, Sweden). Factors associated with reaching 90 years of age: a study of men born in 1913 in Gothenburg, Sweden. J Intern Med 2010; doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2796.2010.02331.x. Objectives. Increasing numbers of people reach old age. We wanted to identify variables of importance for reaching 90 years old and determine how the predictive ability of these variables might change over time. Setting and subjects. All men in the city of Gothenburg born in 1913 on dates divisible by 3, which is on the 3rd, 6th, 9th etc., were included in the study. Thus, 973 men were invited, and 855 were examined in 1963 at age 50. Further examinations were made at age 54, 60 and 67. Anthropometric data, lifestyle and parental factors, blood pressure, lung function, X-ray of heart and lungs and maximum work performance were recorded. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was used to analyse the predictive capacity of a variable. Results. A total of 111 men (13%) reached 90 years of age, men who reached 90 years were more likely at age 50 to be nonsmokers, consume less coffee, have higher socio-economic status and have low serum cholesterol levels than those who did not reach this age; however, at age 50 or 62, parents' survival was of no prognostic importance. Variables of greatest importance at higher ages were low blood pressure and measures related to good cardiorespiratory function. In multivariable analysis, including all examinations, being a nonsmoker, consuming small amounts of coffee, having high housing costs at age 50, good maximum working capacity and low serum cholesterol were related to a better chance of survival to age 90. Conclusions. Low levels of cardiovascular risk factors, high socio-economic status and good functional capacity, irrespective of parents' survival, characterize men destined to reach the age of 90.
To study the possible risk factors for cardiovascular disease, we collected data on plasma levels of coagulation factors, blood pressure, serum cholesterol, and smoking in a random sample of 792 men 54 years of age. During 13.5 years of follow-up, myocardial infarction occurred in 92 men, stroke in 37, and death from causes other than myocardial infarction or stroke in 60. The blood pressure, degree of smoking, serum cholesterol, and fibrinogen level measured at the base-line examination proved to be significant risk factors for infarction by univariate analyses during follow-up, and blood pressure and fibrinogen were risk factors for stroke. Fibrinogen and smoking were strongly related to each other. The relation between fibrinogen and infarction, and between fibrinogen and stroke, became weaker when blood pressure, serum cholesterol, and smoking habits were taken into account, but was still significant for stroke. Although causality cannot be inferred from these data, it is possible that the fibrinogen level plays an important part in the development of stroke and myocardial infarction.
We examined 3 groups of elderly men; men with diabetes and previous or present foot ulcers, men with diabetes, and men without diabetes. In the foot diseased group, diabetes duration was longer (18 +/- 11 vs 8 +/- 7 years), insulin treatment was more common (86% vs 7%), fasting blood glucose and HbA1c were significantly higher (10.5 +/- 4.0 mmol/1, 8.4% +/- 1.6%) than in the diabetic control group (8.3 +/- 3.4 mmol/l, 7.4 +/- 1.7%). Men in the foot diseased group were taller than men in the diabetic group and non-diabetic men (1.79 vs 1.74 m) but not more obese (BMI 26-27 kg/m2 in all three groups). Current or previous alcoholic problems were more common in the foot diseased group (32%) compared to the control diabetic group (9%) and the non-diabetic group (10%). Diabetic patients with known foot disease had more often callosities, absent hair growth, dry skin and redness, compared to the other groups. Psychosocial problems (alcohol and divorce), long standing diabetes duration and poor metabolic control seem to be of importance for the development of diabetic foot ulcers.