Healthy Nordic diet has been beneficially associated with CHD risk factors, but few studies have investigated risk of developing CHD. We investigated the associations of healthy Nordic diet with major CHD risk factors, carotid atherosclerosis and incident CHD in middle-aged and older men from eastern Finland. A total of 1981 men aged 42–60 years and free of CHD at baseline in 1984–1989 were investigated. Diet was assessed with 4-d food recording and the healthy Nordic diet score was calculated based on the Baltic Sea Diet Score. Carotid atherosclerosis was assessed by ultrasonography of the common carotid artery intima–media thickness in 1053 men. ANCOVA and Cox proportional hazards regression analyses were used for analyses. Healthy Nordic diet score was associated with lower serum C-reactive protein (CRP) concentrations (multivariable-adjusted extreme-quartile difference 0·66 mg/l, 95 % CI 0·11, 1·21 mg/l) but not with serum lipid concentrations, blood pressure or carotid atherosclerosis. During the average follow-up of 21·6 years (sd 8·3 years), 407 men had a CHD event, of which 277 were fatal. The multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios in the lowest v. the highest quartile of the healthy Nordic diet score were 1·15 (95 % CI 0·87, 1·51) for any CHD event (P
trend 0·361) and 1·44 (95 % CI 0·99, 2·08) (P
trend 0·087) for fatal CHD event. We did not find evidence that adherence to a healthy Nordic diet would be associated with a lower risk of CHD or with carotid atherosclerosis or major CHD risk factors, except for an inverse association with serum CRP concentrations.