Smoking and cardiovascular disease

Smoking increases CHD risk

When the Seven Countries Study started in 1958 the prevalence of smokers was very high and ranged from 44% in Belgrade professors in Serbia to 78% in fishermen from Ushibuka in Japan. The 10-year follow-up data showed that smoking was associated with a higher risk of CHD mortality in countries where there were enough events for analysis and the strongest associations were observed in northern Europe where CHD was highest. An analysis using the 25-year CHD mortality data showed similar results.  

Smoking a long-term predictor of CVD

The Finnish cohorts showed that the relative risk of CHD mortality among cigarette smokers compared to non-smokers decreased the longer the follow-up, but the excess CHD risk remained significant after 35 years of follow-up. The 40-year data from the Zutphen Study showed that cigarette smokers at entry had a 59% higher CHD and a 66% higher CVD mortality risk compared to non-smokers. The duration, as well as the intensity of smoking, was also independently predictive of CVD mortality.

About the Zutphen Elderly Study

The Zutphen Elderly Study is an extension of the original Zutphen Study with a sample of the same age where detailed information on the diet of all the participants was collected four times between 1985 and 2000.  Read more about the Zutphen (Elderly) 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.

Functional status and disability

The number of self-reported disabilities was positively related to the performance-based limitations score and did not differ between countries.

Hand-grip strength and disability

Hand-grip strength related to lower disability Hand-grip strength at baseline was inversely related to 4-year disability in rural elderly men in Italy. Of the [...]

More about the relationship between lifestyle and CVD

Serum cholesterol and coronary heart disease

Cholesterol found in the blood serum is, in higher quantities, associated with a higher incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD). This is the conclusion after observing serum cholesterol levels and CHD risk mortality for forty years.