Specific dietary patterns, including the Mediterranean diet, have been associated with stroke prevention. Our aim was to investigate whether adherence to a healthy Nordic diet, including fish, apples and pears, cabbages, root vegetables, rye bread, and oatmeal, was associated with risk of stroke.
Incident cases of stroke among 55?338 men and women from the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health cohort were identified from the Danish National Patient Register and verified by review of records. Cases of ischemic stroke were further subclassified based on etiology according to the TOAST classification system (Trial of Org 10172 in Acute Stroke Treatment). Information on diet was collected at baseline (1993-1997) using a semiquantitative food-frequency questionnaire. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate hazards ratios of total stroke and subtypes of ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke.
During a median follow-up of 13.5 years, 2283 cases of incident stroke were verified, including 1879 ischemic strokes. Adherence to a healthy Nordic diet, as reflected by a higher Healthy Nordic Food Index score, was associated with a lower risk of stroke. The hazards ratio comparing an index score of 4 to 6 (high adherence) with an index score of 0 to 1 (low adherence) was 0.86 (95% confidence interval 0.76-0.98) for total stroke. Inverse associations were observed for ischemic stroke, including large-artery atherosclerosis. No trend was observed for hemorrhagic stroke; however, a statistically insignificant trend was observed for intracerebral hemorrhage.
Our findings suggest that a healthy Nordic diet may be recommended for the prevention of stroke.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a multi-factorial disease in which diet is believed to play a role. Little is known about the health effects of specific regional diets. The Nordic diet is high in fat and sugar but also includes a range of traditional products with anticipated health-promoting effects. The aim of this cohort study was to determine whether a healthy Nordic food index consisting of fish, cabbage, rye bread, oatmeal, apples, pears and root vegetables was related to CRC incidence. Data were obtained from a prospective cohort study of 57,053 Danish men and women aged 50-64 years, of whom 1025 developed CRC (13 years' follow-up). Incidence rate ratios (IRR) with 95 % CI were calculated from Cox proportional hazard models. Women who strongly adhered to a healthy Nordic food index had a 35 % lower incidence of CRC than women with poor adherence (adjusted IRR, 0·65; 95 % CI 0·46, 0·94); a similar tendency was found for men. Women had a 9 % lower incidence of CRC per point adherence to the healthy Nordic food index, but no significant effect was found for men. A regional diet based on healthy Nordic food items was therefore associated with a lower incidence of CRC in women. The protective effect was of the same magnitude as previously found for the Mediterranean diet, suggesting that healthy regional diets should be promoted in order to ensure health; this will also preserve cultural heredity and the environment.
Prospective epidemiological studies have reported that a higher fruit and vegetable intake is associated with a lower risk of CHD. The aim of the present study was to examine associations between fruit and vegetable consumption, in particular the subgroupings citrus fruits, apples and cruciferous vegetables, and the risk of acute coronary syndrome (ACS). During a median follow-up of 7.7 years, 1075 incident ACS cases were identified among 53 383 men and women, aged 50-64 years at recruitment into the Diet, Cancer and Health cohort study in 1993-7. Fruit and vegetable intake was estimated from a validated FFQ, and ACS incidence rate ratios (IRR) were estimated using Cox proportional hazards models. Overall, a tendency towards a lower risk of ACS was observed for both men and women with higher fruit and vegetable consumption. For men, we found an inverse association for apple intake (IRR per 25 g/d: 0.97; 95 % CI 0.94, 0.99). This association was also seen among women, albeit borderline significant. However, a higher risk was seen among women with higher fruit juice intake (IRR per 25 g/d: 1.04; 95 % CI 1.00, 1.08). The present results provide some support for previously observed inverse associations between fresh fruit intake, particularly apples, and ACS risk.
The role of dietary fiber on the risk of colon and rectal cancer has been investigated in numerous studies, but findings have been inconsistent. The purpose of this study was to examine associations between intake of dietary fiber and risk of incident colon (including distal and proximal colon) and rectal cancer in the prospective Scandinavian HELGA cohort and to determine if fiber source (vegetables, fruits, potatoes, cereals) impacted the association. We included 1,168 incident cases (691 colon, 477 rectal cancer), diagnosed during a median of 11.3 years, among 108,081 cohort members. Sex-specific incidence rate ratios (IRRs) of colon and rectal cancer were related to intake of total or specific fiber source using Cox proportional hazards models. For men, an inverse association was observed between intake of total fiber and the risk of colon cancer per an incremental increase of 10 g day(-1) , IRR (95% CI): 0.74 (0.64-0.86). Intake of cereal fiber per 2 g day(-1) was associated with an IRR of 0.94 (0.91-0.98), which was also seen for intake of cereal fiber from foods with high fiber content (= 5 g per 100 g product), where the IRR per 2 g day(-1) was 0.94 (0.90-0.98). In women, intake of cereal fiber per 2 g day(-1) was also associated with lower risk of colon cancer, 0.97 (0.93-1.00). No clear associations were seen for rectal cancer. Our data indicate a protective role of total and cereal fiber intake, particularly from cereal foods with high fiber content, in the prevention of colon cancer.
BACKGROUND: Previous studies have suggested that a high dietary intake of fruit and vegetables is associated with a reduced risk of ischemic stroke. The magnitude of the effect is uncertain, and only one study reported data on the intake of specific fruit and vegetables and the risk of stroke. OBJECTIVE: We examined whether the intake of fruit and vegetables is associated with a reduced risk of ischemic stroke, with particular attention paid to specific fruit and vegetables and subtypes of ischemic stroke. DESIGN: In a prospective cohort study of 54,506 men and women who were included in the Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health study from 1993 to 1997, estimated total intakes of fruit and vegetables (in g/d) were extracted from a semiquantitative food-frequency questionnaire completed at baseline. Data about subjects hospitalized with ischemic stroke were obtained from the Danish National Registry of Patients and were verified later by record reviews. The follow-up for ischemic stroke ended on the date of a first hospital admission for stroke or transient ischemic attack, the date of death or emigration, or the end of the study, whichever came first. RESULTS: We identified 266 cases of ischemic stroke involving hospitalization during 168,388 person-years of follow-up (median follow-up: 3.09 y; range: 0.02-5.10 y). After adjustment for potential confounders, persons in the top quintile of fruit and vegetable intake (median: 673 g/d) had a risk ratio of ischemic stroke of 0.72 (95% CI: 0.47, 1.12) relative to persons in the bottom quintile of intake (median: 147 g/d) (P for trend = 0.04). When comparing the top quintile with the bottom quintile, an inverse association was most evident for fruit intake (risk ratio: 0.60; 95% CI: 0.38, 0.95; P for trend = 0.02). Similar risk estimates were seen for most types of fruit and vegetables, although the risks were significant only for citrus fruit. CONCLUSION: An increased intake of fruit may reduce the risk of ischemic stroke.