Background: Concurrent with increase in life expectancy, the prevalence of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases (CVD) has also increased. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the association between healthy eating index (HEI) score and CVD risk factors among Iranian elderly.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was performed on a sample of elderly persons from Isfahan, Iran, in 2013. Totally, 107 retired subjects were entered in statistical analysis. A semi- quantitative food frequency questionnaire was used to assess the dietary intake of participants. Anthropometric measurements and blood pressure of participants were determined. Fasting blood samples were taken for biochemical assessments.
Results: The results of linear regression determined a significant inverse association between HEI score and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance [HOMA-IR, β = -0.238 (-0.426, -0.048)], fasting blood glucose [β = -0.194 (-0.383, -0.004)], and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein [hs-CRP, β = -0.196, (-0.386, -0.005)]. In addition, a significant positive association was observed between HEI score and high density lipoprotein cholesterol [HDL-C, β = 0.196 (0.006, 0.385)] levels. However, after adjusting for confounding variables, these significant associations were disappeared except for hs-CRP [β = -0.074 (-0.145, -0.003)].
Conclusion: Healthy eating index was associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular risk factors in old people. It seems that more adherence with healthy eating index could provide cardio-protective effects in elderly persons.
Keywords: Cardiovascular Diseases; Healthy Diet; Iran; Risk Factors.