DOI: 10.3390/nu15153356 ISSN: 2072-6643

Mediterranean Diet for Primary and Secondary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality: An Updated Systematic Review

Ana Laffond, Cristina Rivera-Picón, Pedro Manuel Rodríguez-Muñoz, Raúl Juárez-Vela, Regina Ruiz de Viñaspre-Hernández, Noelia Navas-Echazarreta, Juan Luis Sánchez-González
  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are currently the leading cause of mortality worldwide, with coronary heart disease being the primary cause. The Mediterranean Diet (MD) has been highlighted for its potential in providing greater protection against CVDs. This study aims to present an updated systematic review that examines the impact of MD on mortality and CVDs, both in the general population and in patients with a prior CVD, while also considering the potential influence of gender. We conducted a systematic review. After the selection process, 24 studies met the inclusion criteria. The findings from these studies consistently demonstrate that higher adherence to the MD is associated with a reduced risk of overall mortality, both in the general population and in patients with previous CVDs. Moreover, evidence suggests that following this dietary pattern likely decreases the risk of CVDs such as heart attacks, various types of coronary artery disease, stroke, and cardiovascular mortality. While some studies have identified differences in the benefits of the MD between men and women, it is important to note that these disparities may be attributed to lower event rates and a generally lower cardiovascular risk profile in women. Thus, the observed variations in outcomes should be interpreted in the context of these factors. Adherence to the MD has the potential to improve survival rates and reduce the risk of CVDs in both the general population and individuals with a prior CVD. Further research is needed to explore the specific mechanisms underlying the protective effects of this dietary pattern and to better understand the role gender-related differences in its outcomes. Nevertheless, promoting the adoption of the MD could be an effective strategy for mitigating the burden of CVDs globally.

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