Four lifestyle factors combined and cardiovascular disease

A healthful diet and lifestyle is related to low CVD risk

A Mediterranean style diet, a high level of physical activity, not smoking and moderate alcohol consumption were all associated with low 10-year risk of CHD and CVD in the European HALE project. A very low risk of these diseases was observed in elderly men who had four compared to those who had none or one healthful diet and lifestyle factor. We estimate that among elderly men who did not adhere to a low-risk lifestyle pattern, 64% of deaths due to CHD and 61% due to CVD might have been prevented based on the observed risk differences.

Interpretation

Among elderly men, the more healthful factors of diet and lifestyle the lower the CVD mortality observed. More than 60% of CVD mortality was associated with lack of adherence to the low-risk pattern. This finding implies that even at advanced ages those who follow a Mediterranean style diet and maintain a healthful lifestyle are less likely to die from CVD.

About the HALE project

The HALE (Healthy Ageing: a Longitudinal study in Europe) project started in 2001 as an extension of three longitudinal studies: the 35-year follow-up data of the Seven Countries Study, the Finland, Italy, Netherlands Elderly (FINE) study and the Survey in Europe on Nutrition in the Elderly: a Concerted Action (SENECA) project. Read more about the HALE project.

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.


Disability and depressive symptoms

In elderly men from Finland, Italy and the Nethelands in the FINE Study, self-reported information on disability and depressive symptoms was collected in 1990 and 1995.

More about the relationship between diet and CHD

Chronic diseases and all-cause mortality

The relations of different chronic diseases with all-cause mortality was studied from middle-age onwards in the Seven Countries Study and in old age in the FINE Study.

More about the relationship between lifestyle and CHD