Combined Effect of Low-Risk Dietary and Lifestyle Behaviors in Primary Prevention of Myocardial Infarction in Women

Arch Intern Med. 2007 Oct 22;167(19):2122-7. doi: 10.1001/archinte.167.19.2122.

Abstract

Background: Limited data are available on the benefit of combining healthy dietary and lifestyle behaviors in the prevention of myocardial infarction (MI) in women.

Methods: We used factor analysis to identify a low-risk behavior-based dietary pattern in 24 444 postmenopausal women from the population-based prospective Swedish Mammography Cohort who were free of diagnosed cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes mellitus at baseline (September 15, 1997). We also defined 3 low-risk lifestyle factors: nonsmoking, waist-hip ratio less than the 75th percentile (< 0.85), and being physically active (at least 40 minutes of daily walking or bicycling and 1 hour of weekly exercise).

Results: During 6.2 years (151 434 person-years) of follow-up, we ascertained 308 cases of primary MI. Two major identified dietary patterns, "healthy" and "alcohol," were significantly associated with decreased risk of MI. The low-risk diet (high scores for the healthy dietary pattern) characterized by a high intake of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, fish, and legumes, in combination with moderate alcohol consumption (>/= 5 g of alcohol per day), along with the 3 low-risk lifestyle behaviors, was associated with 92% decreased risk (95% confidence interval, 72%-98%) compared with findings in women without any low-risk diet and lifestyle factors. This combination of healthy behaviors, present in 5%, may prevent 77% of MIs in the study population.

Conclusion: Most MIs in women may be preventable by consuming a healthy diet and moderate amounts of alcohol, being physically active, not smoking, and maintaining a healthy weight.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Diet*
  • Exercise
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / prevention & control*
  • Postmenopause
  • Primary Prevention*
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking
  • Treatment Outcome