Mediterranean Diet and Cardiovascular Disease Prevention: What Do We Know?

Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2018 May-Jun;61(1):62-67. doi: 10.1016/j.pcad.2018.04.006. Epub 2018 Apr 18.


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) morbidity and mortality is increasing, representing an important public health issue worldwide. It is well-known that risk of CVD is substantially influenced by lifestyle, including poor diet, tobacco smoking and physical inactivity. In the last years, the so-called Mediterranean Diet (MedDiet) has been associated with broad healthy benefits on human health, including protection against CVD. The present narrative review aimed to summarize and discuss the evidence from meta-analyses of epidemiological and clinical trials analyzing MedDiet and CVD risk. The MedDiet is one of the best dietary patterns analyzed in relation to CVD risk and other health outcomes. Studies demonstrated that MedDiet has beneficial effects in the prevention of total and specific types of CVD, albeit a moderate-high degree of inconsistency has been reported and few studies have been included in most of the meta-analyses. As consequence, more high-quality prospective cohorts and randomized clinical trials are warranted in order to increase the confidence in the effect estimates.

Keywords: Cardiovascular disease; Coronary heart disease; Heart failure; Mediterranean diet; Myocardial infarction; Stroke.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Diet, Healthy*
  • Diet, Mediterranean*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Nutritional Status
  • Nutritive Value
  • Protective Factors
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk Reduction Behavior*