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Effects of a Mediterranean-Style Diet on Cardiovascular Risk Factors: A Randomized Trial

AuthorsEstruch, Ramón; Martínez-González, Miguel A.; Corella, Dolores; Salas-Salvadó, Jordi; Ruiz-Gutiérrez, Valentina ; Covas, María Luisa; Fiol, Miquel; Gómez-Gracia, Enrique; López-Sabater, Carmen; Vinyoles, Ernest; Arós, Fernando; Conde-Herrera, Manuel; Lahoz, Carlos; Lapetra, José; Sáez, Guillermo; Ros, Emilio
KeywordsMediterranean diet
Cardiovascular disease
Cardiovascular risk factors
Olive oil
Issue Date4-Jul-2006
PublisherAmerican College of Physicians
CitationAnnals of Internal Medicine 145(1): 1-11 (2006)
AbstractBackground: The Mediterranean diet has been shown to hae beneficial effects on cardiovascular risk factors. Objective: To compare the shor-term effects of 2 Mediterranean diets versus those of a low-fat diet on intermediate markers of cardiovascular risk. Design: Substudy of a multicenter, randomized, primary prevention trial of cardiovascular disease (Prevención con Dieta Mediterránea [PREDIMED] Study). Setting: Primary care centers affiliated with 10 teaching hospitals. Participants: 772 asymptomatic persons 55 to 80 years of age at high cardiovascular risk who were recruited from october 2003 to march 2004. Interventions: participants were assigned to a low-fat diet (n=257) or to 1 of 2 Mediterranean diets. Those allocated to Mediterranean diets received nutritional education and either free virgin olive oil, 1 liter per week (n=257), of free nuts, 30 g/d (n=258). The authors evaluated outcome changes at 3 months. Limitations: This short-term study did not focus on clinical out-comes. Nutritional education about low-fat diet was less intense than education about Mediterranean diets. Conclusion: Compared with a low-fat diet, Mediterranean diets supplemented with olive oil or nuts have beneficial effects on cardiovascular risk factors.
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