What Dietary Change Could Reduce Cardiovascular Risk?
While previous research has shown that following a Mediterranean diet is associated with decreased cardiovascular mortality, it is less clear whether foods in the Western diet are associated with cardiovascular (CV) risk, the researchers wrote.
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For their study, the researchers followed 15,482 patients with stable coronary heart disease from the Stabilisation of Atherosclerotic Plaque by Initiation of Darapladib Therapy (STABILITY) trial. The participants completed lifestyle questionnaires including questions on foods they commonly eat.
The researchers used these answers to determine each patient’s Mediterranean diet score (MDS) and Western diet score (WDS).
After a median follow-up of 3.7 years, 7.3% of the 2885 participants with MDS of 15 or more, 10.5% of the 4018 with an MDS of 13-14, and 10.8% of the 8579 with MDS of 12 or lower had experienced a major adverse CV event, while no association was observed between WDS and risk of major adverse CV event.
“In a large geographically diverse cohort of high-risk patients with stable CHD, a diet containing more food groups included in the traditional Mediterranean diet … was associated with a lower risk of [major adverse cardiovascular event] and all-cause death,” they concluded.
“In contrast, greater consumption of foods thought to be less healthy and typical of Western diets was not associated with adverse CV events. These observations suggest dietary guidelines for secondary prevention of [coronary heart disease] should focus more on encouraging greater consumption of ‘healthy’ foods.”
Stewart RAH, Wallentin L, Benatar J, et al. Dietary patterns and the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events in a global study of high-risk patients with stable coronary heart disease [published online April 24, 2016]. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehw125