Within the Seven Countries Study data we investigated whether population differences in 25-year mortality rates from coronary heart disease could be explained by population differences in alcohol, fish, fibre and antioxidant intake.
Baseline surveys were carried out between 1958 and 1964, on 12 763 middle-aged men constituting 16 cohorts in seven countries. In 1987 and 1988 equivalent food composites representing the average food intake of each cohort at baseline were collected locally and analysed for their fibre and antioxidant content in one central laboratory. The vital status of all participants was verified at regular intervals over 25 years.
Alcohol and fish intake were inversely related to 25-year mortality from coronary heart disease in univariate analyses. These associations became non-significant when the confounding effects of saturated fatty acids, flavonoids and smoking were taken into account. Fibre and antioxidant vitamins intake were not related to coronary heart disease mortality in either uni- or multivariate analysis.
These cross-cultural analyses show that alcohol, fish, fibre and antioxidant vitamins do not explain population differences in coronary heart disease mortality, independently of saturated fatty acids and flavonoids intake and cigarette smoking.