Changes in dietary habits, cardiovascular risk factors and mortality in Japan

Ueshima, H.

Acta Cardiologica 45(4): 311-327


ISSN/ISBN: 0001-5385
PMID: 2239030
Document Number: 366689
Japan had a higher mortality rate for stroke and a lower one for ischaemic heart disease (IHD) than other industrialized countries in 1960. However, stroke and IHD mortality rates have decreased since 1965 and 1970, respectively. Blood pressure and the prevalence of hypertension have decreased since 1965 and it is concluded that these lowering trends have contributed to the decreases in mortalities from stroke and IHD. A decrease in daily salt intake from 14.5 to 12.1 g during the past 12 years may have contributed to the reductions in blood pressure and prevalence of hypertension. Animal protein intake increased by 13.3% between 1960 and 1985, and the energy intake from protein is now 15.1%, half being from animal sources. Fat consumption increased by 130% in the same period, but energy intake from fat is still only 24.5%. It is concluded that low fat intake and a high polyunsaturated/saturated fat ratio keep serum cholesterol low and may maintain the IHD mortality rate at a lower level than in other industrialized countries. It is further suggested that a doubling of alcohol consumption in Japan from 1960 to 1985 may help to reduce the IHD mortality rate.

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