Cardiovascular Diseases

European Journal of Epidemiology

, Volume 23, Issue 9, pp 609-614

First online:

Incident solar radiation and coronary heart disease mortality rates in Europe

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The reported low mortality rate from coronary heart disease in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, and France, to a lesser extent, has been attributed in numerous nutritional studies to the consumption of a Mediterranean-type diet. There are still many unresolved issues about the direct causal effect of the Mediterranean dietary regime on low incidence of coronary heart disease. An analysis of coronary heart disease mortality rates in Europe from a latitudinal gradient perspective has shown to have a close correlation to incident solar radiation. It is surmised that the resulting increased in situ biosynthesis of Vitamin D3 could be the critical missing confounder in the analysis of the beneficial health outcome of the Mediterranean diet.


Coronary heart disease Incident solar radiation Mortality rate Europe