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BACKGROUND: In 1960, all male inhabitants of a series of villages in rural Crete, born between 1900 and 1919, were invited to participate in the Seven Countries Study. Analysis of 25-year mortality data from the 16 cohorts of participants indicated that the cohort from Crete had the lowest age-standardised all-cause and coronary heart disease death rates. METHODS: At baseline, 686 Cretan men (98% of those invited) participated in health examinations. Mortality data were collected over 40 years. Time-fixed and updated covariate survival analysis techniques were applied to assess eight cardiovascular disease risk factors as long-term predictors of all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality. RESULTS: The median survival time was 32 years. All-cause and cardiovascular mortality rates were 26 and 11 per 1000 person-years, respectively. Age (relative risk 1.11, 95% CI 1.09-1.13), diastolic blood pressure (relative risk 1.02, 95% CI 1.01-1.03), and smoking (relative risk 1.37, 95% CI 1.14-1.64) were positively associated and forced expiratory volume (relative risk 0.50, 95% CI 0.36-0.68) was negatively associated with all-cause mortality. Age (relative risk 1.13, 95% CI 1.09-1.16), diastolic blood pressure (relative risk 1.01, 95% CI 1.001-1.03), and forced expiratory volume (relative risk 0.53, 95% CI 0.32-0.89) were independent predictors of cardiovascular mortality. Serum cholesterol concentration and body mass index were not independently associated with death risk. CONCLUSIONS: The Cretan cohort displays favourable 40-year survival. Even so, long-term predictors of the hazard of both all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality are present.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.ijcard.2004.08.052

Type

Journal article

Journal

International journal of cardiology

Publication Date

04/2005

Volume

100

Pages

85 - 91

Addresses

Department of Social Medicine, Medical School, University of Crete, P.O. Box 2208, Heraklion 71003, Crete, Greece.

Keywords

Humans, Cardiovascular Diseases, Coronary Disease, Arteriosclerosis, Body Mass Index, Diet, Risk Factors, Cohort Studies, Adult, Middle Aged, Greece, Male, Stroke