Research to improve people's health


Low adherence to the Mediterranean diet is associated with a higher frequency of fatty plaques in the arteries

Diet influences the accumulation of fat in the arteries. This has been shown by a recent study with the participation of the #DAP-Cat research group of the Universitari Institut d'Investigació en Atenció Primària (IDIAP Jordi Gol), which confirms that the Mediterranean diet can be a shield against arterial diseases.

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The study, which was carried out with the population of the ILERVAS project, of the Health Bus, with 8,116 people, was recently published in the magazine 'Atherosclerosis'. The population that has been studied has a low or moderate risk of cardiovascular disease, so the results cannot be fully extrapolated to the general population and even less to populations with other pathologies.

Research on the association between dietary patterns and subclinical atherosclerotic disease (fatty plaques in the arteries) remains limited, and published results are inconsistent and drawn from small populations. For this reason, this investigation was launched to evaluate the eating habits of the population of Lleida and their consequences. Participants with atherosclerotic disease are older and have a "higher frequency of habit" smoking, hypertension, dyslipidemia and waist circumference. The study showed that people with better eating habits related to the Mediterranean diet had fewer fatty plaques in their arteries, compared to those with poor adherence to the diet.

Another confirmation of the study is that women had a lower frequency and number of atherosclerotic plaques. The research was carried out using the 'Mediterranean Diet Adherence Screener' (MEDAS) questionnaire and non-invasive ultrasounds to see the arteries.

The research, jointly led by researchers from IIB Sant Pau and IRB Lleida, has had the participation of research staff from the lnstitut Universitari per a la recerca a l'Atenció Primària de Salut Jordi Gol i Gurina (IDIAPJGol), the Center for Biomedical Research in the Respiratory Diseases and Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases Network Asociadas, the Washington University School of Medicine in the United States, and other research groups from the IRBLleida, the Hospital Universitari de Lleida and the UdL, among others.