Low-carbohydrate diets and cardiovascular and total mortality in Japanese: A 29-year follow-up of NIPPON DATA80

Yasuyuki Nakamura, Nagako Okuda, Tomonori Okamura, Aya Kadota, Naoko Miyagawa, Takehito Hayakawa, Yoshikuni Kita, Akira Fujiyoshi, Masato Nagai, Naoyuki Takashima, Takayoshi Ohkubo, Katsuyuki Miura, Akira Okayama, Hirotsugu Ueshima

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48 Citations (Scopus)


Long-term safety of consuming low-carbohydrate diets (LCD) in Asian populations, whose carbohydrate intake is relatively high, is not known. In the present study, the association of LCD with CVD and total mortality was assessed using data obtained in the NIPPON DATA80 (National Integrated Project for Prospective Observation of Non-communicable Disease and Its Trends in the Aged 1980) during 29 years of follow-up. At baseline in 1980, data were collected from study participants aged ≥30 years from randomly selected areas in Japan. LCD scores were calculated based on the percentage of energy as carbohydrate, fat and protein, estimated by 3d weighed food records. A total of 9200 participants (56% women, mean age 51 years) were followed up. During the follow-up, 1171 CVD deaths (52% in women) and 3443 total deaths (48% in women) occurred. The multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for CVD mortality using the Cox model comparing the highest v. lowest deciles of LCD score was 0·60 (95% CI 0·38, 0·94; Ptrend=0·021) for women and 0·78 (95% CI 0·58, 1·05; Ptrend=0·079) for women and men combined; the HR for total mortality was 0·74 (95% CI 0·57, 0·95; Ptrend=0·029) for women and 0·87 (95% CI 0·74, 1·02; Ptrend=0·090) for women and men combined. None of the associations was statistically significant in men. No differential effects of animal-based and plant-fish-based LCD were observed. In conclusions, moderate diets lower in carbohydrate and higher in protein and fat are significantly inversely associated with CVD and total mortality in women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)916-924
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Sept 28


  • Cardiovascular mortality
  • Cohort studies
  • Low-carbohydrate diets
  • Total mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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