HomeHEALTHMediterranean diet greatly reduces heart disease risk in women

Mediterranean diet greatly reduces heart disease risk in women

March 17, 2023 — Women may have their reasons for adopting the ever-popular Mediterranean diet: It appears to lower the risk of heart disease and death in women.

People who closely followed a Mediterranean diet had a 24% lower risk of heart disease and a 23% lower risk of death over time, compared to those who followed other types of diets. The diet emphasizes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, seafood, lean protein and healthy fats such as olive oil and nuts.

“The Mediterranean diet is well known for its health benefits, especially for heart health, but most of the studies and research into diet and heart disease are primarily done in men,” said Anushree, a PhD candidate at the University of Westmead Applied Research in Australia. Pant said. Center.

β€œIn medical research, there are gender disparities in how clinical trials are designed,” she said. “This creates large gaps in clinical data, which could potentially impact the development of health advice. Our work is a step towards addressing this gap.”

In new reportpublished in the journal Heart, Pant and colleagues analyzed 16 studies published between 2006 and 2021 that included information on how closely people followed a Mediterranean diet and either enrolled all women or separated the results by sex. The researchers excluded studies that referenced only certain components of the Mediterranean diet or combined it with other lifestyle-related factors.

The studies, which were mostly focused in the US and Europe, included 722,495 adult women who had no previous reports of heart disease and were monitored for their heart health for an average of 12.5 years.

Overall, those who followed the Mediterranean diet more closely were less likely to have heart disease — which includes heart failure, heart attack and other major adverse cardiovascular events — as well as death. Although there was also a lower risk of stroke, this was not considered statistically significant.

Further analyzes showed a similar reduction in risk for women of different ethnicities following a Mediterranean diet. Women of European descent had a 24% lower risk of heart disease, and women of non-European descent (Asians, Native Hawaiians and African Americans) had a 21% lower risk.

Researcher calls for more sex-specific research around heart disease, including specific risk factors associated with menopause, pregnancy-related concerns such as pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes, and autoimmune diseases that are more prominent in women, such as systemic lupus erythematosus type tree.

He said future studies should also explore the reasons why the Mediterranean diet is associated with lower heart disease and death. The diet may reduce inflammation, boost antioxidants and benefit the gut microbiome. It’s also rich in beneficial nutrients like polyphenols (organic compounds found in some vegetables and fruits), nitrates, and omega-3 fatty acids, and it’s high in fiber and low in glycemic load.

“What we eat today has important health implications on our cardiometabolic health for years to come,” said Samia Mora, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of the Center for Lipid Metabolomics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Mora, who was not involved in this study, has researched the relationship between the Mediterranean diet and heart health. She and colleagues have found that women who follow the diet are more likely to have lower levels of inflammation, insulin resistance, lower body mass index and blood pressure.

“Women are often the primary food preparers, and their dietary habits affect other family members – especially children,” she said. “The results were striking to see, with nearly a one-quarter reduction in fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular events. This is similar to the benefit we see with statin therapy, drugs commonly used to lower cholesterol.” Medicine.”

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