[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To examine the relation between work-family conflict and sickness absence.
The BELSTRESS III study comprised 2983 middle-aged workers. Strain-based work-home interference (WHI) and home-work interference (HWI) were assessed by means of self-administered questionnaires. Prospective data of registered sickness absence during 12-months follow-up were collected. Multiple logistic regression analysis was conducted.
HWI was positively and significantly related to high sickness absence duration (at least 10 sick leave days) and high sickness absence frequency (at least 3 sick leave episodes) in men and women, also after adjustments were made for sociodemographic variables, health indicators, and environmental psychosocial factors. In multivariate analysis, no association between WHI and sickness absence was found.
HWI was positively and significantly related to high sickness absence duration and frequency during 12-months follow-up in male and female workers.
Journal of occupational and environmental medicine / American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 09/2009; 51(8):879-86. · 1.88 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Peripheral blood leucocyte (PBL) telomere length (TL) is a systemic ageing biomarker and has been proposed to be an independent predictor of cardiovascular disease (CVD). We aimed at providing an explanation for this association by the evaluation of the biomarker value of PBL-TL in preclinical atherosclerosis.
Peripheral blood leucocyte telomere length was assessed by telomere restriction fragment analysis in 2509 volunteers free from established CVD, aged approximately 35-55 years old, from the Asklepios Study cohort. Intima-media thickness (IMT) and plaque presence were determined by ultrasonography in both left and right carotid and femoral arteries. Peripheral blood leucocyte telomere length was not a significant independent determinant of IMT (P > 0.3) or plaque presence (P > 0.05), in either artery or either sex. In women but not in men, PBL-TL was a weak determinant of combined (carotid or femoral) plaque presence, adjusted for other risk factors (women: P = 0.03, men: P > 0.4). However, even in women presenting plaques, PBL-TL was still longer than in men.
Since systemic TL is not a substantial underlying determinant of preclinical atherosclerosis, the association between CVD and TL cannot be explained by the fact that subjects with shorter inherited TL are predisposed to atherosclerosis.
European Heart Journal 08/2009; 30(24):3074-81. · 14.10 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Systematic COronary Risk Evaluation (SCORE), the risk estimation system recommended by the European guidelines on cardiovascular disease prevention, estimates 10-year risk of cardiovascular disease mortality based on age, sex, country of origin, systolic blood pressure, smoking status and either total cholesterol (TC) or TC/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) ratio. As, counterintuitively, these two systems perform very similarly, we have investigated whether incorporating HDL-C and TC as separate variables improves risk estimation.
The study consisted of 57,302 men and 47,659 women. Cox proportional hazards method was used to derive the function including HDL-C and an identical function without HDL-C for comparison. Risk charts were developed to illustrate the results.
Inclusion of HDL-C resulted in a modest but statistically significant improvement in risk estimation, based on the area under receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC); 0.814 versus 0.808, P value less than 0.0001, for the functions with and without HDL-C, respectively. Addition of HDL-C also resulted in a significant and important improvement in risk estimation as measured by net reclassification index, which is highly clinically relevant. Improvement in risk estimation was greatest in women from high-risk countries, in terms of both AUROC and net reclassification index.
For the general population, the inclusion of HDL-C in risk estimation results in only a modest improvement in overall risk estimation based on AUROC. However, when using the more clinically that examines reclassification of individuals, clinically useful improvements occur. Inclusion of HDL may be particularly useful in women from high-risk countries and individuals with unusually high or low HDL-C levels. Addition of HDL-C is particularly applicable to electronic, interactive risk estimation systems such as HeartScore.
European journal of cardiovascular prevention and rehabilitation: official journal of the European Society of Cardiology, Working Groups on Epidemiology & Prevention and Cardiac Rehabilitation and Exercise Physiology 07/2009; 16(3):304-14. · 2.51 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Central-to-peripheral amplification of the pressure pulse leads to discrepancies between central and brachial blood pressures. This amplification depends on an individual's hemodynamic and (patho)physiological characteristics. The aim of this study was to assess the magnitude and correlates of central-to-peripheral amplification in the upper limb in a healthy, middle-aged population (the Asklepios Study). Carotid, brachial, and radial pressure waveforms were acquired noninvasively using applanation tonometry in 1873 subjects (895 women) aged 35 to 55 years. Carotid, brachial, and radial pulse pressures were calculated, as well as the absolute and relative (with carotid pulse pressure as reference) amplifications. With subjects classified per semidecade of age, carotid-to-radial amplification varied from approximately 25% in the youngest men to 8% in the oldest women. Amplification was higher in men (20+/-14%) than in women (13+/-12%; P<0.001) and decreased with age (P<0.001) in both. Amplification over the brachial-to-radial path contributed substantially to the total amplification. In univariate analysis, the strongest correlation was found with the carotid augmentation index (-0.51 in women; -0.47 in men; both P<0.001). In a multiple linear regression model with carotid-to-radial amplification as the dependent variable, carotid augmentation index, total arterial compliance, and heart rate were identified as the 3 major determinants of upper limb pressure amplification (R2=0.36). We conclude that, in healthy middle-aged subjects, the central-to-radial amplification of the pressure pulse is substantial. Amplification is higher in men than in women, decreases with age, and is primarily associated with the carotid augmentation index.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The identification of persons at high cardiovascular risk is of primary importance in the context of cardiovascular prevention. Accuracy and precision of risk assessment are essential properties. We developed a calibrated SCORE risk chart (Systematic COronary Risk Evaluation) for calculating the absolute 10-year probability of developing a fatal cardiovascular event, adapted to national mortality statistics and risk factor distributions in Belgium and critically evaluated its predictive accuracy.
Our SCORE Belgium risk chart was validated using data from 6212 non-diabetic men and women free of CHD participating in a prospective cohort study carried out in the eighties (Belgian Interuniversity Research on Nutrition and Health). Agreement between numbers of predicted and observed CVD deaths across the entire spread of risk was studied using chi-square and Hosmer-Lemeshow statistics. Discriminatory power of risk estimates was evaluated according to Harrell's c-statistic.
During the period of 10 years, 274 CVD deaths were observed while the recalibrated risk chart predicted 263 events. The SCORE Belgium risk chart showed very good accuracy over the complete range of predicted risk (Hosmer-Lemeshow: P=0.14). ROC analysis revealed excellent discriminatory power in labelling future cases of fatal cardiovascular disease with a c-statistic of 0.86. The 5% threshold for the probability of 10-year cardiovascular death yielded an optimal balance of sensitivity and specificity.
The SCORE Belgium risk chart proves to be well suited as an accurate and precise estimation tool for the assessment of cardiovascular risk in Belgium.
International journal of cardiology 05/2009; 143(3):385-90. · 7.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The first and second EUROASPIRE surveys showed high rates of modifiable cardiovascular risk factors in patients with coronary heart disease. The third EUROASPIRE survey was done in 2006-07 in 22 countries to see whether preventive cardiology had improved and if the Joint European Societies' recommendations on cardiovascular disease prevention are being followed in clinical practice.
EUROASPIRE I, II, and III were designed as cross-sectional studies and included the same selected geographical areas and hospitals in the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, and Slovenia. Consecutive patients (men and women </=70 years) were identified after coronary artery bypass graft or percutaneous coronary intervention, or a hospital admission with acute myocardial infarction or ischaemia, and were interviewed at least 6 months later.
3180 patients were interviewed in the first survey, 2975 in the second, and 2392 in the third. Overall, the proportion of patients who smoke has remained nearly the same (20.3% in EUROASPIRE I, 21.2% in II, and 18.2% in III; comparison of all surveys p=0.64), but the proportion of women smokers aged less than 50 years has increased. The frequency of obesity (body-mass index >/=30 kg/m(2)) increased from 25.0% in EUROASPIRE I, to 32.6% in II, and 38.0% in III (p=0.0006). The proportion of patients with raised blood pressure (>/=140/90 mm Hg in patients without diabetes or >/=130/80 mm Hg in patients with diabetes) was similar (58.1% in EUROASPIRE I, 58.3% in II, and 60.9% in III; p=0.49), whereas the proportion with raised total cholesterol (>/=4.5 mmol/L) decreased, from 94.5% in EUROASPIRE I to 76.7% in II, and 46.2% in III (p<0.0001). The frequency of self-reported diabetes mellitus increased, from 17.4%, to 20.1%, and 28.0% (p=0.004).
These time trends show a compelling need for more effective lifestyle management of patients with coronary heart disease. Despite a substantial increase in antihypertensive and lipid-lowering drugs, blood pressure management remained unchanged, and almost half of all patients remain above the recommended lipid targets. To salvage the acutely ischaemic myocardium without addressing the underlying causes of the disease is futile; we need to invest in prevention.
The Lancet 04/2009; 373(9667):929-40. · 39.06 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the European Action on Secondary and Primary Prevention by Intervention to Reduce Events III (EUROASPIRE III) survey was to determine whether the Joint European Societies' guidelines on cardiovascular prevention are being followed in everyday clinical practice and to describe the lifestyle, risk factor and therapeutic management in patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) in Europe.
The EUROASPIRE III survey was carried out in 2006-2007 in 76 centres from selected geographical areas in 22 countries in Europe. Consecutive patients, with a clinical diagnosis of CHD, were identified retrospectively and then followed up, interviewed and examined at least 6 months after their coronary event.
Thirteen thousand nine hundred and thirty-five medical records (27% women) were reviewed and 8966 patients were interviewed. At interview, 17% of patients smoked cigarettes, 35% were obese and 53% centrally obese, 56% had a blood pressure >or=140/90 mmHg (>or=130/80 in people with diabetes mellitus), 51% had a serum total cholesterol >or=4.5 mmol/l and 25% reported a history of diabetes of whom 10% had a fasting plasma glucose less than 6.1 mmol/l and 35% a glycated haemoglobin A1c less than 6.5%. The use of cardioprotective medication was: antiplatelets 91%; beta-blockers 80%; angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin-receptor blockers 71%; calcium channel blockers 25% and statins 78%.
The EUROASPIRE III survey shows that large proportions of coronary patients do not achieve the lifestyle, risk factor and therapeutic targets for cardiovascular disease prevention. Wide variations in risk factor prevalences and the use of cardioprotective drug therapies exist between countries. There is still considerable potential throughout Europe to raise standards of preventive care in order to reduce the risk of recurrent disease and death in patients with CHD.
European journal of cardiovascular prevention and rehabilitation: official journal of the European Society of Cardiology, Working Groups on Epidemiology & Prevention and Cardiac Rehabilitation and Exercise Physiology 04/2009; 16(2):121-37. · 2.51 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In 2007, the Fourth Joint European Societies' Task Force on cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention in clinical practice issued an update of the guidelines on how to prevent CVD. These guidelines are endorsed by 10 international societies interested in the subject. Particular attention is given to lifestyle changes, risk factor management, and the use of cardioprotective drugs. In this paper, the content of the guidelines is summarized with emphasis on what is new compared to the previous version and on what could be of particular interest to clinical chemists. For those who would like to read more on this, please refer to the full document (112 pages including 1105 references).
Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine 02/2009; 47(2):138-42. · 3.01 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to compare food group intakes among preschool children with food-based dietary guidelines (FBDG) and to determine the proportion of children meeting these guidelines. Food consumption of preschool children (2.5-6.5 years) living in Flanders (Belgium) were assessed in a cross-sectional study, using proxy reported 3d estimated dietary records (EDR) (n 696). Statistical modelling was used to account for within-individual variation in the 3d EDR. Mean daily intakes of most food groups (beverages, vegetables, fruit and milk) were below the minimum recommendations. Only 'grains and potatoes' and 'meat products' were in line with the recommendations and 'bread and cereals' showed borderline intakes. Mean intakes of energy-dense and low-nutritious foods, which are discouraged within a healthy diet (like snacks and sugared drinks), were high. Furthermore, the percentage of children complying with the different food-based dietary guidelines was for most food groups extremely low (ranging from approximately 4% for fluid and vegetable intakes up to 99% for potato intakes). Boys had in general higher mean intakes of the recommended food groups. In conclusion, preschool children in Flanders follow eating patterns that do not meet Flemish FBDG. Although the impact of these eating habits on preschooler's current and future health should be further investigated, it is clear that nutrition education and intervention are needed among preschool children and their parents in Flanders.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 01/2009; 5(4):243-57. · 2.00 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aims of this study were to assess the relative validity and reproducibility of a semi-quantitative food-frequency questionnaire (FFQ) applied in a large region-wide survey among 2.5-6.5 year-old children for estimating food group intakes. Parents/guardians were used as a proxy. Estimated diet records (3d) were used as reference method and reproducibility was measured by repeated FFQ administrations five weeks apart. In total 650 children were included in the validity analyses and 124 in the reproducibility analyses. Comparing median FFQ1 to FFQ2 intakes, almost all evaluated food groups showed median differences within a range of +/- 15%. However, for median vegetables, fruit and cheese intake, FFQ1 was > 20% higher than FFQ2. For most foods a moderate correlation (0.5-0.7) was obtained between FFQ1 and FFQ2. For cheese, sugared drinks and fruit juice intakes correlations were even > 0.7. For median differences between the 3d EDR and the FFQ, six food groups (potatoes & grains; vegetables Fruit; cheese; meat, game, poultry and fish; and sugared drinks) gave a difference > 20%. The largest corrected correlations (>0.6) were found for the intake of potatoes and grains, fruit, milk products, cheese, sugared drinks, and fruit juice, while the lowest correlations (<0.4) for bread and meat products. The proportion of subjects classified within one quartile (in the same/adjacent category) by FFQ and EDR ranged from 67% (for meat products) to 88% (for fruit juice). Extreme misclassification into the opposite quartiles was for all food groups < 10%. The results indicate that our newly developed FFQ gives reproducible estimates of food group intake. Overall, moderate levels of relative validity were observed for estimates of food group intake.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 01/2009; 6(1):382-99. · 2.00 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate associations between nutritional and non-nutritional variables and Fe status parameters, i.e. serum ferritin and soluble transferrin receptors (sTfR).
Cross-sectional design. Fe status parameters were determined on a fasting venous blood sample. Nutritional variables were assessed using a 2 d food record and non-nutritional variables by a general questionnaire. A general linear model was used to investigate associations between the variables and Fe status parameters.
Region of Ghent, Dutch-speaking part of Belgium.
Random sample of 788 women (aged 18-39 years).
Median (interquartile range) ferritin and sTfR were 26.3 (15.9, 48.9) ng/ml and 1.11 (0.95, 1.30) mg/l, respectively. BMI and alcohol intake were positively associated and tea intake was negatively associated with serum ferritin. Women who used a non-hormonal intra-uterine device, who gave blood within the past year or who had been pregnant within the past year had lower serum ferritin values than their counterparts. Significant determinants of sTfR were smoking habit and pregnancy, with higher values for non-smokers and women who had been pregnant within the past year.
The present study indicates that contraceptive use, time since last blood donation, time since last pregnancy, BMI, alcohol and tea intake are determinants of Fe stores, whereas smoking habit and time since last pregnancy are determinants of tissue Fe needs. When developing strategies to improve Fe status, special attention should be given to women who use a non-hormonal intra-uterine device, gave blood within the past year and had been pregnant within the past year.
Public Health Nutrition 01/2009; 12(10):1775-82. · 2.25 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study aims to quantify costs of atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases in Belgium in 2004.
Costs were estimated using data on prevalence, healthcare resource utilization and unit costs. Healthcare costs included expenditure on ambulatory care, hospital inpatient care, emergency care, and medications. Costs of prevention campaigns and costs of productivity loss were also included.
Costs amounted to 3.5 billion euros in Belgium in 2004. Total costs consisted of 80 million euros related to prevention and screening, 1.3 billion euros related to pre-clinical disease, and 2.2 billion euros related to established disease. These costs were incurred by the Belgian third-party payer (58% of costs), patients (10%) and third parties (i.e. employers and supplementary health insurance) (32%).
Atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases impose a significant economic burden on Belgian society.
Cardiovascular Drugs and Therapy 10/2008; 22(6):487-94. · 2.67 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In contrast to the plethora of vasculopathies to which oxidized low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (ox-LDL) can be linked, there are no data linking ox-LDL to myocardial (dys)function in the community. We tested whether ox-LDL, a marker of oxidative stress, was linked to early cardiac structural and functional damage in the general population. The Asklepios Study is a random sample of 2524 male and female volunteers, comparable to the Belgian population between 35 and 55 years free from overt cardiovascular disease. Cardiac morphology, systolic, and early and late diastolic tissue Doppler mitral annulus velocities were recorded during an echocardiography, followed by a vascular examination (carotid and femoral arteries). Serum ox-LDL was measured by sandwich ELISA using the mAb-4E6 monoclonal antibody. Effects of ox-LDL were assessed after adjustment for age, gender, lipid fractions, blood pressure, heart rate, height, weight, glycemia, smoking, and drug treatment. Mean ox-LDL was 96.0+/-38.9 U/L. After adjustment, increasing ox-LDL levels were associated with a more spherical left ventricular cavity (minor/major axis dimensions; P<0.001) and decreasing diastolic (early diastolic tissue Doppler mitral annulus velocity; P<0.001, more pronounced in women) and systolic function (amplitude of systolic tissue Doppler mitral annulus velocity; P=0.008, more pronounced in men). These results remained unaffected when further adjustments were made for inflammatory markers, lifestyle, or vascular damage (atherosclerosis and arterial stiffening). These results are the first "proof of concept" that ox-LDL impacts cardiac structure and function at a community level, independent of classic risk factors, lifestyle, inflammation, and prevalent vascular damage. Our data suggest that ox-LDL is a risk marker for early ventricular remodelling. However, the effect size in the general population is small.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Within- and between-person variation in nutrient intakes has been characterized in adult populations, but little is known about variation in the diet of pre-school-aged children. The aim of this study was to describe dietary variations in Flemish pre-schoolers and to estimate the number of record days required for studying diet-disease associations among pre-school-aged children.
Data from 3-day estimated diet records, collected in 2002-03, were used from 661 pre-school children (2.5-6.5 years) in Flanders, using parents/caregivers as a proxy. Age categories for studying differences in dietary variations between age groups were based on the age groups of the Belgian dietary recommendations (2.5-3 years and 4-6.5 years).
Overall, micronutrient intakes had smaller variance ratios than macronutrients. The largest variance ratios were found for cholesterol followed by fat, fatty acids and sodium intakes and would result in attenuated linear regression estimates of diet-disease associations in children. Within/between variance ratios were > or =1 for most nutrients in the oldest group (4-6.5 years) of pre-school children, while <1 for most micronutrients in the youngest age group (2.5-3 years), resulting in fewer days required for this youngest age group in comparison with the oldest group. No consistent differences in variance components were found between genders. Overall, 7-day dietary records were sufficient for accurately estimating 15 of the 23 nutrients in both age groups.
The number of record days required for reliably classifying pre-school children raises with increasing age category (from 2.5-3 years to 4-6.5 years) for most nutrients and varies from 3 or 4 days for some nutrients like carbohydrates to 2 or 3 weeks for others like dietary cholesterol or monounsaturated fatty acids.
The European Journal of Public Health 10/2008; 18(5):509-16. · 2.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although telomere biology was revealed to play an important role in several hematopoietic disorders, its impact on the age-dependent dynamics of regular hematopoiesis is poorly understood. In vitro results suggest that particularly the erythropoietic capacity might be limited by critically short telomere length (TL). However, it remains unclear whether TL also affects erythropoiesis in healthy individuals in vivo. Therefore, we analyzed the associations between relevant hematopoietic parameters and peripheral blood leukocyte TL in the apparently healthy Asklepios study population, aged approximately 35-55 years (N > 2500). Our data indicate a clear positive, age and paternal age at birth adjusted, correlation between TL and red blood cell count, both in men (p < 0.001) and women (p = 0.011). This association was particularly significant in the older segment of the population (> 45 years old, both sexes: p = 0.003) and in younger men (p = 0.013), but not in younger women (p = 0.521). Further adjustment for known determinants in a general linear model revealed that peripheral blood leukocyte TL is most probably an independent predictor of red blood cell count (p < 0.001), suggesting that critical telomere shortening might also limit erythropoiesis in vivo. While negligible in a middle-aged population, the clinical consequences might be important in the elderly (e.g. in anemia of chronic disease). Further studies are required to confirm the impact of our results.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: The relationship between aortic (carotid-femoral) pulse wave velocity and stiffness measures based on local diameter and pressure readings is not yet fully understood.
Methods: We compared the relationship with age and gender of aortic pulse wave velocity to stiffness indices (compliance and distensibility coefficient) evaluated at the common carotid and femoral arteries in 2195 (1131 women) apparently healthy subjects, aged 35-55 years participating in the Asklepios study. Aortic pulse wave velocity was further compared with previously reported central arterial stiffness parameters on the same population. Subjects were divided into four age groups for analysis.
Results: Femoral arterial stiffness was higher in men than in women (P < 0.001) but did not change with age and no age-gender interaction was evident. Carotid arterial stiffness increased with age (P < 0.001) and showed a significant (P < 0.001) age-gender interaction, with carotid stiffness increasing more rapidly in women than in men, crossing over around the age of 45. Aortic pulse wave velocity did not differ between men and women, but did increase with age (P < 0.001). No age-gender interaction was evident.
Conclusion: The relation with age and gender of local and central stiffness measures is not the same over the age range 35-55 in apparently healthy men and women. Depending on the central stiffness parameter used, age-gender effects evident at the carotid artery are or are not found centrally. Though the relevance of these differences requires further evaluation in a longitudinal study with outcome data, they need to be kept in mind when designing or interpreting results from arterial stiffness evaluation studies.
Journal of Hypertension 06/2008; 26(7):1411-1419. · 3.81 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to assess the outcome of twin pregnancies in women of advanced age (>or=35 years) compared with women aged 25-29 years old.
This population-based retrospective study compared perinatal outcome of twin pregnancies in primiparae aged 35 or older (N = 240) to that of twin pregnancies in primiparae aged 25-29 years (N = 940). Observed outcomes are adjusted for intermediate (mode of conception and hypertension during pregnancy) and confounding variables (level of education). The possible effect of zygosity and chorionicity was tested in a subset of this database, recorded in the East Flanders Prospective Twin Survey (EFPTS).
In twin pregnancies, maternal age of 35 or over is associated with a lower incidence of preterm birth [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 0.59, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.44-0.79] and low birthweight (AOR 0.75, 95% CI 0.58-0.98) compared with younger women. Differences in zygosity and chorionicity between both cohorts do not seem to affect the result.
In comparison with primiparae aged 25-29 years, perinatal outcome of twin pregnancies is more favourable in primiparae aged 35 or over.
Human Reproduction 06/2008; 23(9):2145-50. · 4.67 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Reported associations of oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL) with noninvasive measures of atherosclerosis are inconsistent. In the Asklepios Study cohort of asymptomatic subjects aged 35 to 55 years, we evaluated the relationship of circulating oxLDL with subclinical atherosclerosis in the carotid and femoral arteries.
Participants (n=2524, 51.5% females) completed a study questionnaire and underwent a clinical examination, blood analysis of oxLDL (mAb-4E6) and other risk markers, and ultrasound examination of intima-media thickness (IMT) and plaques in the left and right carotid and femoral arteries. oxLDL concentrations were highest in subjects with femoral plaques (n=658). In the group of subjects with carotid plaques (n=476), elevated oxLDL concentrations are related to concomitant femoral plaques detected in 54% of these subjects. Multivariate regression analyses (including anthropometric, hemodynamic, biochemical, and lifestyle variables) showed that femoral plaques are independently related to oxLDL whereas femoral IMT, carotid IMT, or carotid plaques were not independently associated with oxLDL.
Circulating oxLDL is independently associated with femoral plaque and not with carotid artery wall damage.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate the gap between food-based dietary guidelines (FBDG) and the usual food consumption in Belgium.
Information on food intake was collected with two non-consecutive 24 h recalls, using the validated software package EPIC-SOFT in combination with a self-administered FFQ. Habitual food intake was estimated by the Nusser method. Physical activity was evaluated according to the International Physical Activity Questionnaire.
A representative sample of the Belgian population aged 15 years and older was randomly selected from the National Register using a multistage stratified procedure. Dietary information was obtained from 3245 individuals.
Food intakes deviated significantly from the recommendations. In particular, fruit (118 g/d) and vegetable (138 g/d) consumption and intake of dairy and Ca-enriched soya products (159 g/d) were inadequate. Consumption of energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods (soft drinks, alcohol and snacks) was excessive (481 g/d). There were important age and gender differences. Fruit, vegetable and spreadable fat consumption was lowest, while consumption of dairy, starchy and energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods was highest among the youngest age group. Men consumed more animal and starchy foods than women, who consumed more fruits. There were only slight differences by education level.
Food intakes differed substantially from the FBDG. Improvement of the Belgian food pattern, in particular among the youngest age group, is necessary for a better prevention of diet-related diseases. In addition, continuous or regular monitoring is crucial to permit trend analyses and to plan effective education or intervention strategies.
Public Health Nutrition 05/2008; 12(3):423-31. · 2.25 Impact Factor