Fat and Heart Disease: Yes We Can Make a Change – The Case of North Karelia (Finland)Puska P.
National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland
Pekka Puska, MD, PhD
National Institute for Health and Welfare
Mannerheimintie 166, PO Box 30
FI–00271 Helsinki (Finland)
Tel. +358 20 610 6001, Fax +358 20 610 6020, E-Mail email@example.com
Do you have an account?
Background/Methods: The exceptionally high mortality from cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the Finnish population in the 1970s ensued the initiation of preventive health interventions, which were first started in the Province of North Karelia and later on extended to all other regions of Finland. Their aim was to change population diets, especially with respect to the quality of fat: to reduce saturated and increase unsaturated fat intake. In addition, emphasis was placed on increased vegetable intake and salt reduction. The aim of this paper was to illustrate the effect of combined efforts of several stakeholders on CVD. This comprehensive action in Finland has involved health education programs, preventive measures in health services, actions at schools, broad collaboration with non-governmental and private sector organizations, government policies, population-based monitoring and evaluation, and international collaboration. Results: The combined efforts of all stakeholders have greatly helped people to reduce the intake of saturated fat and to replace this with unsaturated fat. This has been associated with an improved quality of the dietary fat (e.g. in 1972, over 90% of the population used butter on their bread compared to <5% at present) and a remarkable reduction in blood cholesterol levels. It has led to a 80% reduction in annual CVD mortality rates among the working aged population, to a major increase in life expectancy and to major improvements in functional capacity and health. Studies have shown that the reduction in blood cholesterol levels, explained by the target dietary changes, have had the greatest impact on these very favorable health changes. Conclusion: The Finnish experience shows both the feasibility and great potential of CVD prevention and heart health promotion through general dietary changes in the population.
© 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel
Article / Publication Details
Copyright / Drug Dosage / DisclaimerCopyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.