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Eur J Clin Nutr. 1993 Sep;47 Suppl 1:S25-34.

Changes in diet and mortality from selected cancers in southern Mediterranean countries, 1960-1989.

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Unitat de Medicina Preventiva i Salut Pública, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain.


Mortality trends of breast, colorectal, ovarian and prostate cancer in Spain, Italy, Greece, Yugoslavia, and England and Wales are presented. Figures are discussed with regard to patterns of consumption of fat-containing foods in these countries. An increase of all cancer site mortality is shown in southern European countries, whereas in England and Wales a decrease in ovarian and colorectal cancer among women is observed. Consumption of milk, meat and animal fat products increased in all Mediterranean countries but decreased in England and Wales. Some differences regarding cancer mortality and food consumption patterns among southern European countries are pointed out. This markedly divergent fat consumption pattern between northern and southern Europe appears to antedate and be associated with their substantial differences in ovarian and colorectal cancer mortality trends, and to a lesser extent with breast cancer.

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