Objective: There are various studies showing the cardiovascular benefits of the Mediterranean diet (MD), but, to the best of our knowledge, this is the first study which aimed to investigate the relation between adherence to the MD and severity of coronary artery disease (CAD).
Methods: The study was a single centre, cross-sectional prospective study which included 200 consecutive patients (131 men [65.5%] and 69 women [34.5%], mean age 57±9) who were diagnosed with CAD by coronary angiography between January 2012 and April 2013. A food frequency questionnaire was administered to the patients. Compliance to the MD was evaluated by the MD score (MDS), which collects prominent diet characteristics under 10 main titles. Each patient's angiographic data was examined by a cardiologist, and Gensini scores (GS) were then calculated to evaluate the extensiveness of coronary atherosclerosis.
Results: Forty-four percent of patients were in the third category of body mass index (BMI) (≥30 kg/m2) and 17.5% were in the first category (BMI<25 kg/m2). Education levels were markedly low, with 78% of the patients having fewer than six years in education. Most patients had low physical activity levels (55.5%). Frequency of metabolic syndrome was prominent (79%). The median (25-75 percentiles) of GS was found to be 21.25 (7-44.75) and the MD score was 4 (3-5). A negative correlation was found between compliance to the MD and GS (r=-0.380, p<0.001).
Conclusion: This study found that in patients with CAD, compliance with the traditional MD is related to decreased severity of coronary atherosclerosis.