Study findings

Conclusions of the research in the Seven Countries

Cross-cultural findings

Diet, risk factors and coronary heart disease rates in the 16 cohorts of the Seven Countries Study

Early on in the study Ancel Keys and colleagues noticed interesting associations across cultures in the Seven Countries Study; cultures differed in their diets and corresponding differences were seen in saturated fat, serum cholesterol and coronary heart disease (CHD) incidence after 5 and 10 years of follow-upRead more about these early associations.

These associations were repeated using 25-year CHD mortality data and extended with associations on flavonoids and dietary patterns. Read more about these later associations.

Cardiovascular disease

Since the first measurements in 1958, the Seven Countries Study focused on predictors of cardiovascular disease (CVD) outcomes.

More about cardiovascular disease findings


Risk factors

Risk factors like serum cholesterol and blood pressure level were related to CHD and blood pressure was also associated to stroke. More about risk factors


Diet, including nutrients, foods and dietary patterns varied widely among countries. The different aspects of diet and CVD were studied in cohorts and individuals. More about diet


Lifestyle may be the most personal category and habits like smoking or alcohol were investigated in relation to CVD.  More about lifestyle

Healthy ageing

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

More about healthy ageing


All-cause mortality

All-cause mortality is proxy variable for life expectancy. Here we examine cardiovascular predictors in relation to all-cause mortality. More about all-cause mortality

Mental health

Mental health is a major contributor to quality of life. We investigate predictors of conitive decline, depression and optimismMore about mental health

Functional status

Physical health is a key element of healthy ageing. Physical activity and other lifestyle choices may impact the physical functioning of the body. More about functional status

Country trends

Apart from the study findings, the investigators noticed substantial differences among countries. The following graphs show long-term time trends of major risk factors and CHD mortality in the SCS cohorts. Have a look at the trends.

Latest research findings

The Seven Countries Study and its related studies are continuing to this day, and the latest research has shown some interesting associations. Read more about the latest findings.