The Relationship of the Atlantic Diet with Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Markers of Arterial Stiffness in Adults without Cardiovascular Disease

Nutrients. 2019 Mar 29;11(4):742. doi: 10.3390/nu11040742.


Background: Studying the adherence of the population to the Atlantic Diet (AD) could be simplified by an easy and quickly applied dietary index. The aim of this study is to analyse the relationship of an index measuring compliance with recommendations regarding the Atlantic diet and physical activity with cardiovascular disease risk factors, cardiovascular risk factors, obesity indexes and arterial stiffness markers.

Methods: We included 791 individuals from the EVIDENT study (lifestyles and arterial ageing), (52.3 ± 12 years, 61.7% women) without cardiovascular disease. Compliance with recommendations on AD was collected through the responses to a food frequency questionnaire, while physical activity was measured by accelerometer. The number of recommendations being met was estimated using a global scale between 0 and 14 points (a higher score representing greater adherence). Blood pressure, plasma lipid and glucose values and obesity rates were measured. Cardiovascular risk was estimated with the Framingham equation.

Results: In the overall sample, 184 individuals (23.3%) scored between 0⁻3 on the 14-point index we created, 308 (38.9%) between 4 and 5 points, and 299 (37.8%) 6 or more points. The results of multivariate analysis yield a common tendency in which the group with an adherence score of at least 6 points shows lower figures for total cholesterol (p = 0.007) and triglycerides (p = 0.002). Similarly, overall cardiovascular risk in this group is the lowest (p < 0.001), as is pulse wave velocity (p = 0.050) and the mean values of the obesity indexes studied (p < 0.05 in all cases).

Conclusion: The rate of compliance with the Atlantic diet and physical activity shows that greater adherence to these recommendations is linked to lower cardiovascular risk, lower total cholesterol and triglycerides, lower rates of obesity and lower pulse wave velocity values.

Keywords: Mediterranean; diet; healthy diet; obesity abdominal; risk factors; vascular stiffness.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2
  • Diet*
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Vascular Stiffness*