Ischemic Heart Disease and the Mediterranean Diet

  • Thomas F. WhayneJr.Email author
Ischemic Heart Disease (D Mukherjee, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Ischemic Heart Disease


Lifestyle modification is primary in cardiovascular (CV) disease prevention. A major contribution is the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet), defined by two of seven components. Italian investigators determined a significant decrease in peripheral arterial disease of 56 % for a high score. Multiple specific CV risk factors are also favorably modified by the MedDiet. This includes beneficial effect on inflammation, vascular endothelium, and insulin resistance. There is also evidence that coronary heart disease, diabetes mellitus, and metabolic syndrome are decreased. Benefit appears to extend to new migrants in France. The economics of dietary adherence are favorable with decreased total lifetime health costs. Although mixed nuts appear to be a major factor in the MedDiet, special emphasis goes to extra virgin olive oil. Benefit also extends to other noncommunicable diseases with a decrease in cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Further quantitation of benefit and understanding of mechanisms involved in dietary benefit is essential.


Cardiovascular risk Coronary heart disease Ischemic heart disease Lipoproteins Mediterranean diet Metabolic syndrome Myocardial infarction Peripheral arterial disease 



apolipoprotein B


Coronary heart disease


Confidence interval




Diabetes mellitus


Glycated hemoglobin


High-density lipoprotein cholesterol


Homeostatic model assessment-insulin resistance


Hazard ratio


Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol


Mediterranean diet


Myocardial infarction


Metabolic syndrome


Peripheral arterial disease


Prevención con Dieta Mediterránea


Relative risk


Very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Thomas F. Whayne, Jr. declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Gill Heart InstituteUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA

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