Ecologic correlations of selected food groups with disease incidence and mortality in Switzerland.

TitreEcologic correlations of selected food groups with disease incidence and mortality in Switzerland.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsBesson, H, Paccaud, F, Marques-Vidal, P
JournalJ Epidemiol
Date Published2013
ISBN Number1349-9092 (Electronic)
Mots-clésCardiovascular Diseases, Databases, Factual, Diet, Female, Food Supply, Humans, Incidence, Male, Mortality, Neoplasms, Registries, Switzerland

BACKGROUND: There is little information regarding the impact of diet on disease incidence and mortality in Switzerland. We assessed ecologic correlations between food availability and disease.

METHODS: In this ecologic study for the period 1970-2009, food availability was measured using the food balance sheets of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Standardized mortality rates (SMRs) were obtained from the Swiss Federal Office of Statistics. Cancer incidence data were obtained from the World Health Organization Health For All database and the Vaud Cancer Registry. Associations between food availability and mortality/incidence were assessed at lags 0, 5, 10, and 15 years by multivariate regression adjusted for total caloric intake.

RESULTS: Alcoholic beverages and fruit availability were positively associated, and fish availability was inversely associated, with SMRs for cardiovascular diseases. Animal products, meat, and animal fats were positively associated with the SMR for ischemic heart disease only. For cancer, the results of analysis using SMRs and incidence rates were contradictory. Alcoholic beverages and fruits were positively associated with SMRs for all cancer but inversely associated with all-cancer incidence rates. Similar findings were obtained for all other foods except vegetables, which were weakly inversely associated with SMRs and incidence rates. Use of a 15-year lag reversed the associations with animal and vegetal products, weakened the association with alcohol and fruits, and strengthened the association with fish.

CONCLUSIONS: Ecologic associations between food availability and disease vary considerably on the basis of whether mortality or incidence rates are used in the analysis. Great care is thus necessary when interpreting our results.


Publication types: Journal ArticlePublication Status: ppublish

Alternate URL

Alternate JournalJ Epidemiol
Citation Key / SERVAL ID3498
PubMed ID24140818
PubMed Central IDPMC3834285


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