Mediterranean diet reduces risk of incident stroke in a population with varying cardiovascular disease risk profiles

Katherine E. Paterson, Phyo K. Myint, Amy Jennings, Lucy K. M. Bain, Marleen A. H. Lentjes, Kay-Tee Khaw, Ailsa A. Welch

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28 Citations (Scopus)
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Background and Purpose: Although some evidence has found that the Mediterranean Diet (MD)is protective for stroke risk, few studies have investigated whether this relationship differs by sex or cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. Methods: We investigated the relationship between adherence to the MD score (MDS),estimated using 7-day dietary diaries (7DD) and risk of incident stroke in an observational prospective population-based cohort study of 23,232 men and women(54.5% women) aged 40-77 years who participated in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer study in Norfolk, UK. Risk of incident stroke was calculated using multivariable Cox-regression, in the whole population, and also stratified by gender and CVD risk profile, using the Framingham Risk Score(FRS). Results: During 17.0 years of follow up (395,048 total person years) 2009 incident strokes occurred. Risk of stroke was significantly reduced with greater adherence to the MDS (Q4 vs Q1 HR 0.83:95% CI 0.74-0.94; P-trend <0.01) in the whole population and in women (Q4 vs Q1 HR 0.78; 95% CI 0.65, 0.93; P-trend<0.01) but not in men (Q4 vs Q1 HR 0.94; 95% CI 0.79, 1.12; P-trend =0.55).There was reduced risk of stroke in those at high risk of CVD and across categories of the MDS (Q4 vs Q1 HR 0.87:95% CI 0.76-0.99; P-trend =0.04).However, this was driven by the associations in women (Q4 vs Q1 HR 0.80:95% CI0.65-0.97; P-trend =0.02). Conclusion: Greater adherence to the MD wasassociated with lower risk of stroke in a UK Caucasian population. For thefirst time in the literature, we also investigated the associations between theMDS in those at both low and high risk of CVD. Although the findings in ourstudy were driven by the associations in women, they have implications for thegeneral public and clinicians for prevention of stroke.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2415–2420
Number of pages6
Issue number10
Early online date20 Sep 2018
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


  • Diet
  • Mediterranean
  • stroke
  • women
  • epidemiology

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