Chronic diseases and all-cause mortality

Chronic diseases associated with all-cause mortality

In middle-aged men from the Seven Countries Study the additional relative risk of death within 15 years varied for seven chronic diseases from 47% for ‘other’ heart disease to 81% for heart attacks.

In older men the additional risk of death for any chronic disease was 95% in Finland, 88% in The Netherlands and 27% in Italy.

The risk of death with an entry class of 3 or more chronic diseases compared to their absence was more than 3 times greater in elderly men from Finland and The Netherlands and 2 times greater in Italy.


These results indicate that the presence of clinically manifest major chronic diseases predicts all-cause mortality and the relation is stronger in northern than in southern Europe.

The scrutinized diseases were heart attack, heart failure, stroke, peripheral arterial disease, other heart disease, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.