Stewart RA, Wallentin L, Benatar J, Danchin N, Hagström E, Held C, Husted S, Lonn E, Stebbins A, Chiswell K, Vedin O, Watson D, White HD; STABILITY Investigators. (2016) Eur Heart J
To determine whether dietary pattern assessed by a simple self-administered food frequency questionnaire is associated with major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) in high-risk patients with stable coronary artery disease.
A Mediterranean dietary pattern has been associated with lower cardiovascular (CV) mortality. It is less certain whether foods common in western diets are associated with CV risk.
At baseline, 15 482 (97.8%) patients (mean age 67 ± 9 years) with stable coronary heart disease from 39 countries who participated in the Stabilisation of atherosclerotic plaque by initiation of darapladib therapy (STABILITY) trial completed a life style questionnaire which included questions on common foods. A Mediterranean diet score (MDS) was calculated for increasing consumption of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, fish, and alcohol, and for less meat, and a 'Western diet score' (WDS) for increasing consumption of refined grains, sweets and deserts, sugared drinks, and deep fried foods. A multi-variable Cox proportional hazards models assessed associations between MDS or WDS and MACE, defined as CV death, non-fatal myocardial infarction, or non-fatal stroke.
After a median follow-up of 3.7 years MACE occurred in 7.3% of 2885 subjects with an MDS ≥15, 10.5% of 4018 subjects with an MDS of 13-14, and 10.8% of 8579 subjects with an MDS ≤12. A one unit increase in MDS >12 was associated with lower MACE after adjusting for all covariates (+1 category HR 0.95, 95% CI 0.91, 0.98, P = 0.002). There was no association between WDS (adjusted model +1 category HR 0.99, 95% CI 0.97, 1.01) and MACE.
Greater consumption of healthy foods may be more important for secondary prevention of coronary artery disease than avoidance of less healthy foods typical of Western diets.