Our objective was to develop a short questionnaire that can be easily used to estimate quantitatively the level of adherence to cardioprotective Mediterranean diets. The short questionnaire assessed the consumption of cardioprotective elements included in the Mediterranean diet (olive oil, wine, fruits, vegetables, fish, legumes and whole-grain intake). A low consumption of meat or meat-products was also included in the composite score. The relative risk of myocardial infarction for each category of the composite score obtained (range 0-9) was computed using data from a case-control study that included 171 cases of first myocardial infarction and 171 matched controls. We found an adjusted odds ratio=0.18 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.03-0.97; P=0.04) for those scoring 7-9 points when comparing them with those scoring 1-2 points. An increment of one point in the score was associated with an 18% reduction in the relative risk of myocardial infarction (P=0.05).