Mediterranean Diets to Prevent Cardiovascular Outcomes

Nutritional experts have consistently recommended a Mediterranean dietary pattern to aid in preventing chronic disease.

Nutritional experts have consistently recommended a Mediterranean dietary pattern to aid in preventing chronic disease.

At the American College of Cardiology (ACC) 64th Scientific Sessions, Thaminda Liyanage, MBBS shared data from the recent research he and his colleagues conducted to identify the most likely effects Mediterranean diet would have on vascular disease and mortality.

The team gathered combed through MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Central Register to search for randomized controlled trials comparing Mediterranean to control diets.

Additionally, they gathered data on study design, patient characteristics, interventions, follow-up duration, outcomes, and adverse events.

The team included 6 studies with a total of 10,950 participants, reporting the effects on major vascular events), death, and vascular deaths for 3, 5, and 4 studies respectively. For one large study (n=1000) there were serious concerns about the integrity of the data.

Combining data for all the studies, researchers noted there was evidence of protection against major vascular events (RR 0.50, 95% confidence interval 0.29-0.87), coronary events (0.60, 0.37-0.98), stroke (0.65, 0.48-0.89) and heart failure (0.30, 0.17-0.56), but not for all-cause mortality (0.85, 0.61-1.19) or cardiovascular mortality (0.72, 0.42-1.24).

Apparently positive findings for coronary events (0.56, 0.20-1.60), heart failure (0.25, 0.05-1.17) and stroke (0.64, 0.34-1.20) also disappeared when the study of concern was excluded. Also, they did not detect any publication bias on Begg’s test (P=0.33) or Egger’s test (P=0.09).

Ultimately, the study results had concluded, “The Mediterranean diet may protect against vascular disease. However, both the quantity and quality of the available evidence is limited, and there is much greater uncertainty than is widely understood.”