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Daily Dose: Mediterranean Diet & Risk of CVD in Women


Patient Care brings primary care clinicians a lot of medical news every day—it’s easy to miss an important study. The Daily Dose provides a concise summary of one of the website's leading stories you may not have seen.

On March 3, 2023, we reported on a study abstract presented at the American College of Cardiology’s (ACC) 72nd Annual Scientific Session Together with the World Congress of Cardiology, being held March 4-6, 2023, in New Orleans.

The study

Researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to determine the association of higher versus lower adherence to a Mediterranean diet with incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) and total mortality in women. Investigators searched Medline, Embase, Scopus, and other databases for randomized controlled trials and prospective cohort studies that included participants without a previous CVD diagnosis. Studies were deemed eligible if they reported a Mediterranean diet score and included only women or stratified outcomes by sex. The primary outcome of the current study was CVD and/or total mortality, according to the abstract. A total of 16 prospective cohort studies were included in the meta-analysis (N=722 495 women).

Researchers observed that in women, a higher adherence to a Mediterranean diet was associated with lower CVD incidence (hazard ratio [HR] 0.76, 95% CI 0.72-0.81; I2=39%, Pheterogeneity=.07), total mortality (HR 0.77, 95% CI 0.74-0.80; I2=21%, Pheterogeneity=.28), and coronary heart disease (HR 0.75, 95% CI 0.65-0.87; I2=21%, Pheterogeneity=.28). Stroke incidence was lower in women with a higher Mediterranean diet adherence (HR 0.87, 95% CI 0.76-1.01; I2=0%, Pheterogeneity=.89) without statistical significance.

Note from authors

“This study supports a beneficial effect of the Mediterranean diet on primary prevention of CVD and death in women and is an important step in enabling sex-specific guidelines.”

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