Objective: We sought to evaluate the accuracy of a diet score in relation to hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes and obesity.
Methods: A diet score (range 0-55) has been developed that assesses adherence to the Mediterranean diet. For the consumption of items presumed to be close to Mediterranean dietary pattern (non-refined cereals, fruits, vegetables, legumes, olive oil, fish and potatoes) scores 0 to 5 for never, rare, frequent, very frequent, weekly and daily consumption were assigned, while for the consumption of foods presumed to be away from this pattern (red meat and products, poultry and full fat dairy products) scores on a reverse scale were assigned. Positive and negative predictive values, in relation to hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes and obesity status of the ATTICA study participants (n=3042, enrolment 2001-02 in Athens metropolitan area, aged 18-89 years) were calculated and the 10-year CHD risk based on Framingham equations was estimated, too.
Results: The positive predictive values of the score regarding hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes and obesity are: 45% (95% CI 43%-48%), 46% (95% CI 44%-49%), 12% (95% CI 11%-14%) and 33% (95% CI 30%-35%), while the negative predictive values are 86% (95% CI 85%-88%), 71% (95% CI 69%-74%), 98% (95% CI 97%-99%) and 97% (95% CI 96%-98%), respectively. Moreover, a 10-unit increase in the diet score is associated with 4% lower 10-year CHD risk (+/-0.1%, p<0.001).
Conclusion: The proposed Mediterranean Diet Score may be useful in detecting individuals prone to the development of nutrition-related health conditions and cardiovascular disease.