Low adherence to the Mediterranean Diet is associated with a higher frequency of fatty plaques in the arteries (arteriosclerosis)

Health and Environment Cardiovascular

The study was carried out with 8,116 people participating in the ILERVAS project, ‘el Bus de la Salut’

Diet influences the accumulation of fat in the arteries. This has been demonstrated by a recent study that confirms that low adherence to the Mediterranean Diet is associated with a greater presence of fatty plaques in the arteries, i.e. atherosclerosis. The study, which was carried out with the population of the ILERVAS project, ‘el Bus de la Salut’, with 8,116 people, was recently published in the journal Atherosclerosis.

“Current research on the association between dietary patterns and subclinical atherosclerotic disease (fatty plaques to the arteries) remains limited, and the published results are inconsistent and made in small population” explained the researcher of the University of Lleida, the Institute for Research in Biomedicine of Lleida (IRBLleida) and the Center for Biomedical Research Network in Diabetes and Associated Metabolic Diseases (CIBERDEM), Minerva Granado.

For this reason, this research was promoted to evaluate the eating habits of the population of Lleida and their consequences. “Participants with atherosclerotic disease are larger and have a higher frequency of smoking, hypertension, dyslipidemia and waist circumference” confirmed Granado, who added that the study has shown that people with better eating habits related to the Mediterranean diet had fewer fatty plaques to the arteries, compared to those with low adherence to the Mediterranean diet.

Another confirmation of the study is that women had a lower frequency and number of atherosclerotic plaques. The research was carried out using the Mediterranean Diet Adherence Screener (MEDAS) questionnaire and non-invasive ultrasound scans to view the arteries.

“It is important to point out that the population we have studied has a low or moderate risk of cardiovascular disease, so the results cannot be completely extrapolated to the general population and even less to populations with other pathologies,” says Marina Idalia Rojo López, a researcher in the Endocrinology, Diabetes and Nutrition Group of the Research Institute of the Hospital de la Santa Cruz y Sant Pau – IIB Sant Pau.

This expert adds that “even so, these findings reinforce the use of strategies aimed at reducing arteriosclerotic disease through the promotion of the Mediterranean diet and highlight the need for nutritionists at all levels of health care”.

Article: Artículo: Rojo-López MI, Bermúdez-López M, Castro E, Farràs C, Torres G, Pamplona R, Lecube A, Valdivielso JoséManuel, Fernández E, Julve J, Castelblanco E, Franch-Nadal J, Alonso Nú, Granado-Casas M, Mauricio Dí, on behalf of the ILERVAS project collaborators, Miquel E, Ortega M, Barbé F, González J, Barril S, Sánchez-de-la-Torre M, Portero-Otín M, Jové M, Hernández M, Rius F, Godoy P, Alonso MM-, Low adherence to the Mediterranean diet is associated with increased prevalence and number of atherosclerotic plaques in the ILERVAS cohort, Atherosclerosis (2023), doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2023.117191.

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