Recent Western studies show an inverse association between milk and dairy product intake and cardiovascular disease (CVD). We studied the association between consumption of milk and dairy products and CVD death in Japan.
Men and women aged 30 years or older were followed for 24 years. All had participated in a national nutrition survey in 300 health districts throughout Japan in 1980. The Cox proportional hazards model was used to assess mortality risk according to tertiles of milk and dairy product intake, with the high consumption group as reference. Hazard ratios (HRs) per 100-g/day increase in consumption were also estimated.
During the 24-year follow-up period, there were 893 CVD deaths, 174 deaths from coronary heart disease (CHD), and 417 stroke deaths among 9243 participants. For women, the HRs for death from CVD, CHD, and stroke in the low consumption group were 1.27 (95% CI: 0.99-1.58; P for trend = 0.045), 1.67 (0.99-2.80; P = 0.02), and 1.34 (0.94-1.90; P = 0.08), respectively, after adjustment for age, body mass index, smoking status, alcohol drinking habits, history of diabetes, use of antihypertensives, work category, and total energy intake. With each 100-g/day increase in consumption of milk and dairy products, HRs tended to decrease for deaths from CVD (HR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.74-0.99), CHD (0.73; 0.52-1.03), and stroke (0.81; 0.65-1.01) in women. No significant association was observed in men.
Consumption of milk and dairy products was inversely associated with CVD death among women in Japan.