Cancer, cardiovascular mortality, and diet in Italy and the Czech Republic

R. Filiberti, A. Kubik, J. Reissigova, F. Merlo, S. Bonassi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A descriptive study aimed at comparing mortality and dietary paterns in Italy and the Czech Republic was conducted in the period 1970-1990. Mortality from all causes, all cancers, selected site specific cancers and cardiovascular diseases were found to be generally higher in the Czech Republic than in Italy. The North-South gradients observed within Italy have diminished in the course of the last twenty years, mostly due to a less contained decrease of the mortality from cardiovascular diseases and to a marked increase in cancer mortality for Southern regions compared to Central and Northern regions. The mediterranean diet with many health promoting, possibly protective components, mostly of vegetable origin, is consumed in most parts of Italy, particularly in the South. In contrast, a Central European diet abounding in animal products and lacking in fresh fruit and vegetables is generally followed in the Czech Republic. These differences in diet may play a role in the origin of the observed differences in mortality patterns. Some factors other than diet, such as smoking habits, alcohol consumption, endogenous factors, and occupation, that are not considered here, are known to be involved in the causation of some types of cancer. The results of this study are compatible with the hypothesis of a relevant role played by dietary and other life-style habits in the etiopathogenesis of neoplastic and cardiovascular diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-283
Number of pages9
JournalNeoplasma
Volume42
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1995

Keywords

  • cancer
  • cardiovascular diseases
  • diet
  • epidemiology
  • mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research

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