Objective: Our specific aim in the prospective, longitudinal assessment of 8,251 subjects in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, NHANES I, followup study was to assess the important roles of modifiable dietary and behavioral characteristics in the causation and prevention of coronary heart disease (CHD).
Methods: Using NHANES I prospective 10 year followup data, we studied 8,251 subjects; 492 with cardiovascular events and 7,759 without events during the followup period (1971-75 to 1982-84). Using general linear models and logistic regression, we assessed the relationships of CHD risk factors to CHD morbidity and mortality.
Results: By logistic regression, the following factors were independently, significantly, and inversely associated with coronary heart and vascular disease deaths and hospitalizations: alcohol intake, dietary riboflavin, dietary iron, serum magnesium, leisure time exercise, habitual physical activity, and female gender. Positive significant independent determinants of CHD events included cigarette smoking, sedimentation rate, Quetelet index, maximum body weight, and age.
Conclusions: These associations emphasize the important role of modifiable dietary and behavioral characteristics in the causation and prevention of CHD.