Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 109540
Title Epidemiology of cardiovascular diseases in Europe
Author(s) Kromhout, D.
Source Public Health Nutrition 4 (2001)2B. - ISSN 1368-9800 - p. 441 - 457.
Department(s) Human Nutrition & Health
VLAG
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2001
Abstract Within Europe large differences exist in mortality from coronary heart disease and stroke. These diseases show a clear West-East gradient with high rates in Eastern Europe. In spite the decreasing trend in age-adjusted cardiovascular disease mortality in Western European countries an increase in the number of cardiovascular patients is expected because of the ageing of the population. Consequently the health care cost for these diseases will increase. Total and HDL cholesterol are major determinants of coronary heart disease. Saturated and trans fatty acids have a total and LDL cholesterol elevating effect and unsaturated fatty acids a lowering effect. N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids seem to have a protective effect on coronary heart disease occurrence independent of their effect on cholesterol. Dietary antioxidants could be of importance because they may prevent oxidation of the atherogenic cholesterol rich LDL lipoproteins. There is however no convincing evidence that either vitamin E, carotenoids or vitamin C protect against coronary heart disease. Observational research has shown that flavonols, polyphenols with strong antioxidant properties present in plant foods, may protect against coronary heart disease. Blood pressure is a major determinant of coronary heart disease and stroke. Historically salt is viewed as the most important dietary determinant of blood pressure. Recent research shows that also a low-fat diet rich in potassium, calcium and magnesium lowers blood pressure substantially. This suggests a multifactorial influence of different nutrients on blood pressure. It can be concluded that a diet low in saturated and trans fatty acids and rich in plant foods in combination with regular fish consumption is associated with a low risk of cardiovascular mortality.
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