Olive oil consumption, plasma oleic acid, and stroke incidence: the Three-City Study

Neurology. 2011 Aug 2;77(5):418-25. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e318220abeb. Epub 2011 Jun 15.


Objective: To determine whether high olive oil consumption, and high plasma oleic acid as an indirect biological marker of olive oil intake, are associated with lower incidence of stroke in older subjects.

Methods: Among participants from the Three-City Study with no history of stroke at baseline, we examined the association between olive oil consumption (main sample, n = 7,625) or plasma oleic acid (secondary sample, n = 1,245) and incidence of stroke (median follow-up 5.25 years), ascertained according to a diagnosis validated by an expert committee.

Results: In the main sample, 148 incident strokes occurred. After adjustment for sociodemographic and dietary variables, physical activity, body mass index, and risk factors for stroke, a lower incidence for stroke with higher olive oil use was observed (p for trend = 0.02). Compared to those who never used olive oil, those with intensive use had a 41%(95% confidence interval 6%-63%, p = 0.03) lower risk of stroke. In the secondary sample, 27 incident strokes occurred. After full adjustment, higher plasma oleic acid was associated with lower stroke incidence (p for trend = 0.03). Compared to those in the first tertile, participants in the third tertile of plasma oleic acid had a 73% (95% confidence interval 10%-92%, p = 0.03) reduction of stroke risk.

Conclusions: These results suggest a protective role for high olive oil consumption on the risk of stroke in older subjects.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated / administration & dosage*
  • Fatty Acids / blood
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oleic Acid / blood*
  • Olive Oil
  • Plant Oils / administration & dosage
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Stroke / blood*
  • Stroke / diagnosis
  • Stroke / epidemiology*
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data*


  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated
  • Fatty Acids
  • Olive Oil
  • Plant Oils
  • Oleic Acid