Arch Hellen Med, 25(1), January-February 2008, 83-87
Dietary patterns and hypercholesterolemia, in remote Greek rural populations: The "ARGO" study
G. POUNIS,1 D. PANAGIOTAKOS,1 G. DANIA,1 D. ÇASAPIS,2 P. KOTTILEAS,2 P. TOUTOUZAS2
OBJECTIVE The purpose of this study was to evaluate nutritional habits in relation to the prevalence of hypercholesterolemia among people living in remote rural Greek islands.
METHOD A group of 383 men (aged 52±18 years) and 417 women (aged 48±18 years) from rural islands in the Aegean Sea comprised the study population. Nutritional evaluation was based on a short questionnaire based on the World Health Organization guidelines, which included 7 dietary questions. A diet score was developed (range 0-7).
RESULTS Of the study population 33% of men and 41% of women had hypercholesterolemia (fasting total serum cholesterol >200 mg/dL or use of lipid lowering agents). Data analysis showed that the nutritional habits of the participants were far removed from the healthy guidelines (mean score: 2.7±1.0 for men and 2.5±1.2 for women). A strong relationship was observed between the diet score and the presence of hypercholesterolemia (a 1 unit increase in the score was associated with 60% lower odds of having high total cholesterol levels, P<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS The nutritional habits of the island population are far removed from the WHO dietary guidelines. This deviation was associated with increased prevalence of hypercholesterolemia in these people.
Key words: Cardiovascular disease, Dyslipidemias, Nutrition.