The relationship between a Mediterranean style diet and cardiovascular disease risk factors within a healthy Scottish population
(2015) The relationship between a Mediterranean style diet and cardiovascular disease risk factors within a healthy Scottish population, no. 34.
Background- Cardiovascular disease is a predominant issue within the world's populations and is steadily becoming more apparent. In Scotland, the incidence rates of cardiovascular disease in men and women in 2012 were around 15.6 and 13.8% respectively. A key factor in reducing cardiovascular disease risk is through dietary modification with bodies such as the Food Standards Agency Scotland promoting healthy dietary patterns including increased consumption of wholegrain foods, legumes and fruit and vegetables and reducing intakes of full-fat diary products, sweets and red meats. This is seen in the traditional Mediterranean diet which has been extensively studied as having positive effects on cardiovascular disease risk factors within Mediterranean countries. This has not however been observed within a healthy population of Scotland. Aim- To determine the relationship between Mediterranean diet intake and cardiovascular disease risk factors within a normal healthy Scottish population. Design- 20 participants, male and female from Queen Margaret University partook in this study. Physiological measurements assessing blood pressure, Body Mass Index, Pulse Wave Velocity and Waist circumference were taken from each participant as well as being asked to complete a Mediterranean diet score questionnaire. Results- No significant association was found between the median Mediterranean diet score of the whole subject population and Pulse Wave Velocity (r= -0.30; p=0.901), Diastolic (r=0.121; p= 0.611) and Systolic (r=0.140; p=0.556) Blood Pressure, waist circumference ( r=0.173; p=0.466) and Body Mass Index ( r=0.140; p=0.555). Results also show that there is a non-significant linear relationship between gender and Mediterranean diet score (r= 0.076; p= 0.375) as well as between gender and smoking ( r=0.132; p=0.289). Finally, results indicate that there is no significant relationship between Mediterranean Diet score and smoking status within our subject population (r= 0.211; p=0.185). However, in the male population, Mediterranean diet score and Pulse Wave Velocity did show significant, negatively correlated results (r= -0.900; p=0.037). Significant positive correlations were also found when comparing BMI and Diastolic ( r=0.487; p=0.029) and Systolic blood pressure (r=0.485; p=0.030) within both study populations. Conclusion- In contrast to other studies, this study found no significant association between Mediterranean diet and cardiovascular disease risk factors within the study population as a whole. By taking study findings into consideration, this method could assess how well recommendations set by bodies such as Food Standards Agency for following a healthy diet are being followed within the general Scottish population. Key words- Cardiovascular disease, Mediterranean diet, Scottish population,