Healthy Nordic diet is linked to reduced mortality in coronary patients

In her PhD thesis, Nathalie Puaschitz has looked at how intake of saturated fats, dairy products and the healthy Nordic diet relates to future health risk in patients with established coronary heart disease.


  1. A high intake of saturated fat is not associated with increased mortality in patients with established coronary artery disease.
  2. Heart patients who adhere to the healthy Nordic diet have reduced mortality risk.
  3. Intake of butter and dairy is linked to increased risk of early death in coronary patients.


Thesis: Dietary saturated fat, dairy and the healthy Nordic diet in relation to risk of coronary events and mortality – Observational studies in patients with coronary artery disease in Norway
Candidate: Nathalie Genevieve Puaschitz
Time: February 20 at 11:15
Place: University of Bergen, BB-building: Auditorium 4
Link to university website (in Norwegian)


(1/3) Heart patients who reported to eat far more saturated fat than recommended did not have increased risk of an acute myocardial infarction or all-cause death during five year follow-up, compared to those who stayed within the recommended limits. In a separate study, however, intake of butter was positively associated with risk of both myocardial infarction and all-cause mortality. A high intake of dairy products was also linked to increased mortality.

Puaschitz and colleagues analyzed dietary records for 169 different food items in 2412 adult patients treated for stable angina pectoris, acute myocardial infarction, unstable angina or aortic stenosis at Haukeland or Stavanger University Hospital between 1999 and 2004. Only a fourth of the patients ate less saturated fat than the maximum recommended amount.

(2) A diet rich in fish, cabbage, fruit, berries, root vegetables and whole grain is linked to 30 % lower risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in patients with stable coronary artery disease. Puaschitz and co-workers have looked at how adhering to the so-called Healthy Nordic diet associates with heart attacks and death during ten year follow-up in 2019 patients. The third who adhered the best to the diet did not have significantly reduced risk of myocardial infarction during follow-up compared to those who adhered the least to the diet.


(1) Puaschitz, N. G., Strand, E., Norekvål, T. M., Dierkes, J., Dahl, L., Svingen, G. F. T., Assmus, J., Schartum-Hansen, H., Øyen, J., Pedersen, E. K. R., Drevon, C. A., Tell, G. S., & Nygård, O. (2014). Dietary Intake of Saturated Fat Is Not Associated with Risk of Coronary Events or Mortality in Patients with Established Coronary Artery Disease–3The Journal of nutrition145(2), 299-305.

(2) Puaschitz, N. G., Assmus, J., Strand, E., Karlsson, T., Vinknes, K. J., Lysne, V., Drevon, C. A., Tell, G. S., Dierkes, J., & Nygård, O. (2019). Adherence to the Healthy Nordic Food Index and the incidence of acute myocardial infarction and mortality among patients with stable angina pectorisJournal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics32(1), 86-97.

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