J Clin Epidemiol. 1992 Feb; 45(2): 157-67.
Mortality in Norwegian Seventh-Day Adventists 1962-1986.
Institute of Community Medicine, University of TromsÃ¸, Norway.
The standardized mortality ratio (SMR) was studied in Norwegian Seventh-Day Adventists, a religious group practising a life-style regarded as protective against cancer and cardiovascular disease. Persons converting before the age of 19 had a SMR of 69 (men) and 59 (women). This was both significantly lower than the general population and those converting at age 35 or above. The site mainly responsible for the low SMR in young converts was cardiovascular disease (men, 44; women, 52). Overall SMR in Seventh-Day Adventists compared to the general population was 82 (95% CI: 77-88, p less than 0.001) in men and 95 (95% CI: 91-100, NS) in women. SMR for cancer was significantly lower only in men before the age of 75 (SMR: 78, 95% CI: 61-99, p less than 0.05). Adopting a healthful lifestyle early in life seems to be of decisive importance with regard to mortality, later lifestyle changes have a smaller effect on death risk.