A new study has found that sticking with the Mediterranean diet, which focuses on a diet high in healthy fats, plants and lean meats, can boost heart health, especially in women
Following the plant-based diet may reduce a woman’s risk of heart disease and death by 25%, the analysis, published in the journal Heart Tuesday, found.Nearly a third of deathsTrusted Source among women are caused by heart disease and yet the majority of clinical trials evaluating healthy diet as a prevention method have primarily been conducted in men.
This is the first systematic review looking at the relationship between heart disease risk and the Mediterranean diet in women.
While the current guidance on heart disease prevention is the same for all genders, the researchers hope the findings will help better inform steps that women, specifically, can take to lower their risk of heart disease.
While there has been much known about the advantages of a Mediterranean diet, it’s powerful to see the robust benefit that women can derive from this nutritional pattern,” Dr. Sabrina Islam, MPH, an assistant professor of medicine at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University and a cardiologist at Temple University Hospital, told Healthline.
The researchers analyzed 16 studies conducted between 2003 and 2021 that evaluated the heart benefits of the Mediterranean diet.
Over 700,000 women were included in the studies whose heart health was monitored for an average of 12.5 years.
The team found that the Mediterranean diet was associated with a 24% lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a 23% lower risk of death from any cause in women.
The risk of coronary heart disease was also 25% lower and women who adhered to the Mediterranean diet had a slightly lower risk of stroke.The researchers hope the findings will lead to further research that’ll help inform sex-specific clinical guidance to improve women’s heart health.
Dr. Wafi Momin, a cardiologist with UTHealth Houston Heart & Vascular and Memorial Hermann, says heart disease is the leading cause of death across the globe but the condition is under-recognized and potentially even under-treated in women.Focusing on heart health is key for women to help prevent cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke,” said Momin.