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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2005 Oct;59(10):1201-7.

Nutrition is a powerful independent risk factor for coronary heart disease in women--The CORA study: a population-based case-control study.

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Center of Internal Medicine, University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.



It is still common practice to rely mostly on drug treatment for preventing cardiovascular disease, although a healthy nutrition has been defined that may prevent most premature cardiovascular events.


This research raises the question of the magnitude of the effect of nutrition on cardiovascular disease independent of that of clinical risk factors, which are the targets of drug therapy.


The study of coronary risk factors for atherosclerosis in women compares clinical, biochemical, and lifestyle factors in 200 consecutive pre- and postmenopausal women with incident coronary heart disease (CHD) to those in 255 age-matched population-based controls.


Cases reported a higher intake of energy, predominantly through animal fat and protein reflected by a higher consumption of meat and sausage, while controls ate more fruit and vegetables. Multivariate analysis adjusted for clinical risk factors depicted a high intake of meat and sausage and a low consumption of fruit and vegetables as independent risk factors with an odds ratio of 2.5 (95% confidence interval 1.1-5.7) and 0.7 (95% confidence interval 0.5-1.0) for each 100 g per day, respectively. These dietary factors were found to be significantly more pronounced in cases with any clinical risk factor identified in this population as compared to controls with the same risk factors.


The CORA-study clearly indicates a major impact of dietary habits on CHD in women independent of, and additive to, that of conventional risk factors. Thus, in clinical practice, the potential of nutrition as part of a healthy lifestyle is commonly greatly underestimated in favour of drug treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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