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.
A population based cohort study investigates the association between alcohol intake and mortality from all causes, coronary heart disease and cancer. The design is prospective with baseline assessment of intake of beer, wine and spirits, smoking habits, educational level, physical activity, and body mass index and a total of 257,859 person-years follow-up on mortality. A total of 4,833 participants died, of these 1,075 from coronary heart disease and 1,552 of cancer. Compared with non-drinkers, light drinkers who avoided wine, had a relative risk of death from all causes of 0.90 (0.82-0.99) and those who drank wine had a relative risk of 0.66 (0.55-0.77). Heavy drinkers who avoided wine were at higher risk of death from all causes than were heavy drinkers who included wine in their alcohol intake. Wine drinkers had significantly lower mortality from both coronary heart disease and cancer than did non-wine drinkers (p = 0.007 and p = 0.004, respectively). In conclusion, wine intake may have a beneficial effect on all cause mortality that is additive to that of alcohol. This effect may be attributable to a reduction in death from both coronary heart disease and cancer.
INTRODUCTION: The aim of the present population-based cohort study was to examine the association between alcohol intake and mortality from all causes, coronary heart disease, and cancer. METHODS: A prospective population study with baseline assessment of beer, wine and spirit consumption, smoking habits, educational level, physical activity, and body mass index in a total of 257,859 person-years follow-up on mortality. RESULTS: A total of 4833 participants died, 1075 of these from coronary heart disease and 1552 of cancer. Compared with non-drinkers, light drinkers, who avoided wine, had a relative risk of death from all causes of 0.90 (0.82-0.99) and those who drank wine had a relative risk of 0.66 (0.55-0.77). Heavy drinkers, who avoided wine, were at higher risk of death from all causes than were heavy drinkers, who included wine in their alcohol consumption. Wine drinkers had a significantly lower mortality from both coronary heart disease and cancer than had non-wine drinkers (p = 0.007 and p = 0.004, respectively). CONCLUSION: A moderate consumption of wine may have a beneficial effect on all causes of mortality, which is additive to that of alcohol. This effect may be attributable to a reduction in death from both coronary heart disease and cancer.
BACKGROUND: In March 1999, the National Board of Health changed its recommendations about alcohol drinking in pregnancy. A "No drinking" policy was changed to three recommendations: 1. Avoid, as far as possible, alcohol in pregnancy; 2. Never take more than one drink a day; and 3. Do not drink alcohol every day. AIM: By means of data from the Danish National Birth Cohort, to monitor changes in pregnant women's reporting of alcohol drinking before and after the change in policy. METHODS: From October 1, 1997, to September 30, 1999, a total of 30,899 pregnant women were interviewed by the end of first trimester. Information on alcohol intake reported among women interviewed from July 1, to September 30, 1998 was compared with the same information obtained from interviews completed in the same months in 1999. RESULTS: Overall, there were no changes in mean alcohol intake in the two periods. Hence, the mean intake was 0.6 drinks per week in the period before and 0.7 drinks per week in the period after introduction of the recommendations. The proportion of women drinking more than two drinks per week was 6.4% before vs 7.4% after the new and less restrictive recommendations (p = 0.12). The proportion of women having one or more binge episode (e.g. drinking five or more drink at one occasion) was 26.7 vs 27.4 (p = 0.65). CONCLUSION: The study showed no significant changes in drinking habits among Danish pregnant women after relaxation of the guidelines for sensible drinking during pregnancy.
In order to compare data on intake of wine, beer and spirits from a frequency questionnaire with intake of each type of alcoholic beverage estimated from a dietary interview, a randomly selected sub-sample of 244 women and 249 men aged 35-65 years was cross-sectionally studied. The sample was a sub-sample of the Danish MONICA study. Mean outcome measure in the study was the differences in intake of beer, wine and spirits as reported by the frequency questionnaire and the diet history interview. We found an overall agreement between the two methods, with very little or no systematic variation for all three alcoholic beverages. We conclude that compared to a more time and money consuming thorough dietary interview, the traditional frequency questionnaires seem to sufficiently capture intakes of different types of alcohol. Bias in alcohol reporting by the frequency questionnaire does not seem responsible for the recently found decreased mortality among subjects with a daily intake of wine, nor the increased mortality from drinking of spirits.
In a prospective population study of 7,234 women and 6,051 men aged 30-79 years, information on beer, wine, spirits and tobacco consumption, and on education, income and body mass index were assessed in the period 1976-1978, and the population was followed until 1.1.1988 for mortality. With increasing intake, the wine-mortality risk function steadily decreased from a relative risk of 1.00 for those who never drank wine through 0.51 (95% confidence limits; 0.32-0.81) among those who drank three to five glasses per day. In contrast, neither beer nor spirits consumption was associated with reduced risk. For spirits consumption the relative risk of dying increased from 1.00 among those who never drank to 1.34 (1.05-1.71) among those with an intake of 3-5 drinks per day. Wine drinking showed the same relation to risk of death from cardio- and cerebrovascular disease as to mortality from all causes.
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.
A large number of prospective population studies from many countries have described a J- or U-shaped relation between alcohol intake and mortality. Both heavy drinkers and abstainers are at a higher risk of dying from all causes than individuals with light to moderate alcohol intake. This makes information to the public about sensible drinking limits more complex than, eg, that concerning smoking. The present paper aims at identifying upper thresholds for harmless alcohol intake. The review is mainly based on epidemiological evidence concerning somatic morbidity and mortality. It is concluded that the present Danish recommendations--14 drinks per week for women and 21 drinks per week for men--should be maintained. It is emphasized that these limits apply to adults who are at no risk of dependency and that they do not apply to pregnant women. Information about a potentially beneficial effect of a moderate alcohol intake should be reserved for individuals already at risk of coronary events.
The aim of the study was to examine the association between self-reported alcohol intake and subsequent mortality from all causes, and to examine if the effect of alcohol intake on the risk of death was modified by sex, age, body mass index, and smoking habits. In a prospective population study of 7,234 women and 6,051 men aged 30-79 years alcohol- and tobacco consumption and body mass index were assessed in the period 1976-1978, and the population was followed until 1.1.1988 for mortality. A U-shaped curve described the relation between alcohol intake and mortality. The nadir of the risk function was observed at one to six beverages per week (relative risk set at 1.00). Abstainers had a relative risk of 1.37 (95% confidence intervals: 1.20-1.56), whereas those drinking more than 70 beverages per week had a relative risk of 2.29 (1.75-3.00). Among the drinkers, the risk was significantly higher than 1 only among those drinking more than 42 beverages per week. Neither sex, age, body mass index, nor smoking significantly modified the risk function. Our findings suggest that simple messages about the benefits of total abstinence may not be appropriate.
Comment In: Ugeskr Laeger. 1995 Jan 23;157(4):464-57846797
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.