Mediterranean Diet Beneficial for Prevention of Heart Disease, Death in Women

ACC 2023. The Mediterranean diet has a beneficial effect on the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease and death in women, according to new analysis.



The Mediterranean diet has a beneficial effect on the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and death in women, according to findings from a new study.

Findings from the systematic review and meta-analysis will be 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.

“A Mediterranean diet has been associated with lower CVD risk, yet no systematic reviews have evaluated this relationship specifically in women,” wrote a team of researchers from the University of Sydney in Australia in the study abstract. “We aim to determine the association of higher versus lower adherence to a Mediterranean diet with incident 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.

“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,” concluded study authors.

Anushriya Pant will present the study, "Mediterranean diet and risk of cardiovascular disease and death in women: A systematic review and meta-analysis," on Saturday, March 4, 2023 at 1 am CT.

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