Diet-MediterraneanHeart DiseaseStroke

Mediterranean diet and risk of stroke

Researchers from Boston report that it lowers the risk of stroke as well as coronary heart disease.

First, the details.

  • 74,886 adult women in the Nurses’ Health Study, a study of female nurses without a history of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, were followed from 1984 to 2004.
  • Dietary data were collected 6 times during the study using food frequency questionnaires.
  • Relative risks for coronary heart disease, stroke, and combined fatal cardiovascular disease were estimated.

And, the results.

  • Greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with a lower risk for coronary heart disease and stroke compared to women with the lowest intake of the diet.
  • Death due to cardiovascular causes was significantly lower among women who most closely followed the Mediterranean diet.

The bottom line?
The authors concluded, “Greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet… was associated with a lower risk of incident coronary heart disease and stroke in women.”

Dr. Teresa T Fung told Medscape that many other studies have looked at the effects of this diet on cardiovascular mortality, but this is one of few with enough participants to look at nonfatal events and also is the first to examine stroke as a separate outcome.”

2/20/09 22:28 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.