View Full Version : Japan among world's highest for heart attack risk

Sep 27, 2004, 11:54
Mainichi : Japan among world's highest for heart attack risk (http://mdn.mainichi.co.jp/news/20040925p2a00m0dm011001c.html)

Japan ranks fifth in the world for heart attack fatalities and remains one of the most likely places on earth for people to succumb to cardiovascular disease, according to a World Health Organization report issued in Geneva.

Japan's 130,000 heart attack deaths in 2002 made it the fifth highest ranking country on earth for fatalities, following China, India, Russia and the United States.

The WHO points to six factors that drastically increase the risk of heart attack and illness -- high blood pressure, body fat, smoking, obesity, lack of exercise and diabetes.

Japan was cited for the high level of smoking that occurs here, as well as for the prevalence of hypertension. China and Russia were cited for the same factors. Obesity was blamed for many of the U.S. heart attacks and diseases, while India was slammed for the overall lack of exercise.

Japan's 6.8 million diabetics also ranked fifth in the world following India, China, the United States and Indonesia. (Mainichi Shimbun, Sept. 25, 2004)

I thought that Japanese had healthier diets than even Europeans or Australians, but it seems not to be the case (I just hope they took the per capita figures and not total cases). Japanese food is usually praised for its low level of fat. Of course, lot's of Japanese eat more and more non Japanese food, including American fastfood or Japanese junk food (cup ramen, etc.).

I have also noticed that Japanese seem to a noted preference for fatty meat. They pride themselves on their Kobe beef with strings of white fat in it. The fatter the part of tuna (ootoro, then chuutoro, then maguro) the more expensive and demanded it is. Japanese TV programmes about food often show meat glittering with fat as a way to water viewers mouths.

High blood pressure is surely due to stress, anxiety and overwork.

High smoking rates have the same causes, but are accentuated by the almost inexistent anti-tobacco campaigns, as Japan Tobacco is owned by the Japanese government.

Sep 27, 2004, 12:19
Interesting study. I always thought the Japanese diet was better than most too. I know that in several posts around here, you and others have commented on how Japanese men in particular work hard and keep long hours. There was a study here in the U.S. a while back that indicated that women were at an increased risk for heart attacks due to entering the workforce and working long hours like men have for years. However, I'm not sure if the study you mention only concerned men. :?

King of Tokyo
Sep 27, 2004, 12:51
So, The Japanese typically live the longest out of all countries, yet they are among the highest risk for heart attack? Doesn't make that much sense.. But this doesn't bother me anyway, If they live the longest then there is nothing to worry about.. Heh.

Sep 27, 2004, 13:17
I don't know how reliable the Mainichi Shimbun (famous for its scandal and tabloid stories) can be considered, but I searched on Google and the American Heart Association's statistics (http://www.americanheart.org/downloadable/heart/1077185395308FS06INT4(ebook).pdf) show that Japan has the lowest rate of cardiovascular diseases, in the 35 countries listed for men, and second lowest (after France) for women. Russia has the highest level for both men and women, followed both by Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary. The US is toward the middle, and China ranks quite high indeed.

Japan's ranking for coronary heart diseases is also excellent, with the lowest level for women and 2nd lowest for men (after Korea).

However for strokes, Japan ranks 13th highest (out of 35) for men, and 22nd for women, after about all Western European countries, the US, Canada and Australia. Korea and especially China have very worrisome stroke rates, having the 4th and 6th highest level of the country listed (after Russia, Bulgaria and Romania again).

As for the total number of death from heart diseases, Japan has the 4th lowest rate for men (after Australia, Switzerland and Sweden), and lowest for women.

Oct 10, 2004, 11:31
I think the most significant contributing factor is cigs. Although, as mentioned, fatty meats cannot be good. But it has to be the cigs given Japans rep for smoking...

Feb 12, 2005, 14:49
Japan ranks around the 15th spot in the latest World Health Organization listing of Number of Heart Disease Mortalities(http://www.who.int/cardiovascular_diseases/en/cvd_atlas_29_world_data_table.pdf)There was also an increase in the mortality rates for men but a corresponding decrease for women (http://www.who.int/cardiovascular_diseases/en/cvd_atlas_14_deathHD.pdf).
But this might be a function of population. Japan ranks 9th in 2004 according to the US Census Bureau (http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/ipc/idbrank.pl)

Feb 19, 2005, 09:11
i was gobsmacked about this....all that fish that you see in films is utter bodlashite! i say stereotypical people think japanese people eat fish and nothing else...

Feb 19, 2005, 11:24
Or maybe this is also an effect of the type of food we have today. We have a whole gamut of "junk food"(e.g. chips, processed snacks) --- which do not have real nutritional value and are rich in preservatives.

Feb 21, 2005, 22:26
some people call food like that comfort food, but there is so much of it on our shelves, why does the goverment do nothing to stop the amount put on our shelves??