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Following a Mediterranean diet closely can reduce a woman’s risk of heart disease and death by nearly 25 percent, according to a new analysis of 16 studies.
“This study adds to what is known about the cardiovascular benefits of the Mediterranean diet, but further reiterates that it benefits women as much as men,” said the study’s lead author, Westmead University Associate Professor Shalaza Mann said. Center for Applied Research, University of Sydney, in an email.
Heart disease is the number one killer of women and men worldwide, according to World Health Organization. Coronary artery disease causes more than twice the number of women Breast cancer as UK’s leading cause of death in US women by 2020 It’s because of heart disease.
Yet very little heart research has looked specifically at women, Zaman said.
“It is well known that a Mediterranean-style diet is good for the heart, but it is encouraging that this research shows that the benefits persist when we look at women separately from men,” said Victoria Taylor, senior dietitian at the British Federation of Dietitians. Heart Foundation, in a statement. She was not involved in this study.
analyze, Published Wednesday in the journal Heart, Combining research on the Mediterranean diet, separates details for women and men. Women get points for eating more good foods, such as vegetables and fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seafood, and less red and processed meat, all of which are part of the Mediterranean diet.
The study found that women who followed the Mediterranean diet most closely had a 24 percent lower risk of heart disease and a 23 percent lower risk of premature death compared to women who barely followed it. Stroke deaths also fell, but not statistically significantly, according to the study.
“I’m glad to finally see the data on women, because the data were either not presented or were not convincing in previous studies that did not work equally well in women and men,” said Roxana Roxana, a cardiologist who was not involved in the study. Dr. Mehran said. Mehran is a professor of medicine who directs interventional cardiovascular research and clinical trials at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.
The researchers performed the calculations for men and found nearly identical results: “Men had a 22 percent lower risk of heart disease and a 23 percent lower risk of death,” Zaman said.
That’s not surprising, said Dr. David Katz, an expert in preventive and lifestyle medicine and nutrition, who was not involved in the study.
“What we previously knew about the benefits of the Mediterranean diet was not gender-specific,” he said, adding that the cardiovascular benefits of a high-quality diet should be the same regardless of gender.
“Thus, this is a ‘reaffirming study’ showing that the observed benefits of the Mediterranean diet for both men and women remain statistically robust when only women are considered as the main subgroup,” he said by email.
All 16 studies had limitations — all 16 were observational, meaning they couldn’t show cause and effect, and they tended to rely on self-reported food intake, which inevitably Can be affected by memory recall.
These limitations, Taylor said, “are acknowledged by the authors, who also suggest that we should interpret their findings with caution, but it also supports the need for more sex-specific studies.”
“Regardless of your gender, a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet such as the Mediterranean diet, can help reduce your risk of heart and circulatory disease, as well as risk factors for these diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, high Blood pressure and high cholesterol,” she added.