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.
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.
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.