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.

Interpretation

These results indicate that the presence of clinically manifest major chronic diseases predicts all-cause mortality and the relationship is stronger in northern than in southern Europe.The scrutinized diseases were heart attack, heart failure, stroke, peripheral arterial disease, other heart diseases, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

About the FINE study

In 1984, the SCS field surveys were extended with different aspects of health in the FINE (Finland Italy Netherlands Elderly) study. Similar surveys were also carried out in Serbia and Crete. Read more about the FINE study.

More about healthy aging

From 1984 onwards, additional studies started to examine indicators of healthy ageing in the elderly populations of in the SCS and related studies.


Lifestyle, diet and optimism

A healthy diet, especially eating more fruit, vegetables, and whole grain bread was related to a higher level of optimism.

Measuring functional status

Functional status was measured with a self-administered 13-item WHO-questionnaire on activities of daily living.