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Natl Cancer Inst Monogr. 1985 Dec;69:143-53.

Mortality in Japanese with life-styles similar to Seventh-Day Adventists: strategy for risk reduction by life-style modification.


Using 16 years of follow-up results of a prospective cohort study for 122,261 men, 95% of the census population, aged 40 years and older in 29 Health Center Districts in Japan as subjects, we compared the age-standardized mortality rates for cancer of each site and other causes of death in Japanese with life-styles similar to those of Seventh-Day Adventists (SDA), i.e., no smoking, no drinking, no meat consumption daily and eating green and yellow vegetables daily, with those of Japanese with opposite life-styles. Compared with the latter Japanese, the risks were one-fifth or less in Japanese with SDA-like life-styles for cancers of the mouth, pharynx, esophagus, and lung, and subarachnoid hemorrhage. Risks were less than one-half for cancers of all sites, stomach, and liver, and for peptic ulcer and heart disease. As a single factor, the addition of daily smoking was observed to elevate the risk most strikingly in Japanese who followed SDA life patterns. Influences of further addition of habits of daily drinking of alcohol and dietary changes were significant for cancers of the esophagus, liver, and bladder and other selected diseases. Strategies for cancer prevention by means of life-style modification, e.g., increased consumption of green and yellow vegetables, were discussed.

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