Consumption of Fruit and Wine and the Decline in Cerebrovascular Disease Mortality in Spain (1975-1993)

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Background and PurposeThis study examines the changes in provincial distribution of cerebrovascular disease (CVD) mortality and its socioeconomic and lifestyle risk factors to identify those factors that have most greatly contributed to the decline in CVD mortality in Spain during the period 1975-1993.MethodsWe performed a study using data aggregated at a provincial level. Mortality data were taken from official vital statistics, while data on risk factors were obtained from surveys of representative large Spanish population samples. Correlation and multiple linear regression analyses were performed on percent changes in age-standardized CVD mortality from 1975-1979 to 1989-1993 and its potential determinants during the period 1964-1980.ResultsCVD mortality was higher in the southern and eastern (Mediterranean coast) provinces in 1975-1979 and again in 1989-1993. Between these periods there was a 55% decline in CVD mortality, which affected all provinces but was greater in those with a lower CVD mortality (r=-0.31, P=0.03). The 1964-1980 period witnessed an increase in the intake of most foodstuffs and all types of fats. However, there was a decrease in the consumption of vegetables and legumes and in the proportion of illiteracy among the population older than 45 years. The greatest increase in fruit and fish consumption and the greatest decrease in illiteracy were registered by Spain's northernmost provinces, the same provinces that recorded the greatest decline in CVD mortality. Changes in fruit, wine, and fish intake accounted for 22% of the variation in the decline in CVD mortality. The increase in fruit consumption and decrease in wine consumption showed a statistically significant relationship (PConclusionsThe increase in fruit and decrease in wine consumption from 1964-1980 may have contributed to the decline in CVD mortality in Spain during 1975-1993. (Stroke. 1998;29:1556-1561.)

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