Following a popular Mediterranean diet when using statins can reduce the risk of cardiovascular death, according to new research.
Recent European studies have found that following a Mediterranean diet while taking statins can reduce the risk of death for those who have had a heart attack or stroke, especially the risk of death from cardiovascular causes.
New study by researchers at I.R.C.C.S. Neuromed, Pozzilli, Italy, recruited 1,180 participants with a history of cardiovascular disease and an average age of 67.7 years.
Participants were followed for an average of 7.9 years, during which time their adherence to the diet was measured by the Mediterranean diet score.
The findings, published in the International Journal of Cardiology, show that participants who followed the Mediterranean diet had a lower risk of all causes, cardiovascular and cardiovascular / cerebrovascular deaths.
In addition, the team also found that those who combined statins with average adherence to the Mediterranean diet had a significantly lower risk of cardiovascular and cardiovascular / cardiovascular / cerebrovascular death than those who did not use statins or had average dietary compliance.
However, statins alone do not reduce the risk of death.
"We found that statins and the Mediterranean Diet together were more effective, compared to one or the other which were considered separately, in reducing the risk of cardiovascular death. Chances are, the Mediterranean diet facilitates the beneficial effects of statins, which in our real-life studies are generally used at low doses, "said the study's first author Marialaura Bonaccio.
Statins are prescribed for patients with cardiovascular disease, along with recommendations for adopting a healthy diet.
The Mediterranean diet encourages the intake of many fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, olive oil and grains, and high consumption of meat, processed foods, and dairy products. This was previously also associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.
The team also looked at possible explanations as to why the interaction between drugs and diet had a positive effect, finding that adherence to a diet along with statins seemed to reduce low levels of inflammation, even though not cholesterol levels.
"The favorable combination of statins and the Mediterranean Diet seems to act, rather than on cholesterol levels, by reducing subclinical inflammation, a condition that predisposes to a higher risk of illness and death. This finding is particularly interesting in light of our observations that high levels of subclinical inflammation double the risk of death in patients who have had a heart attack or stroke, "study author Licia Iacoviello explained.
"Our data shows that we should focus more on the possible interactions between food and medicine, an aspect that is largely ignored in epidemiological research," Giovanni de Gaetano, director of the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention, now calls for further research to confirm the findings. this time.