Patients who consumed at least 7 g per day of olive oil had lower risk for CHD and total CVD compared with those who did not consume it, according to data presented at the American Heart Association Epidemiology, Prevention, Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Scientific Sessions.
This study was also published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
“The main message is that our results further support to recommend replacing fats with oils such as olive oil to prevent heart disease,” Marta Guasch-Ferre, PhD, research scientist in the department of nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and instructor in medicine at the Channing Division of Network Medicine at Harvard Medical School, told Healio.
Researchers analyzed data from 63,867 women from the Nurses’ Health Study and 35,512 men from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study who were free from heart disease, cancer and stroke at baseline. Patients completed food frequency questionnaires to collect information on diet at baseline and every 4 years.
“There was some evidence showing that olive oil was beneficial for heart disease, but most of the research until now was conducted in Mediterranean populations,” Guasch-Ferre said in an interview. “We wanted to see if these associations were also significant in the U.S. population, where usually intake of olive oil is lower.”
CV risk for adults in the U.S. who consume olive oil vs. those who do not.
There were 10,240 incident cases of CVD during 24 years of follow-up. This included 6,270 cases of CHD and 3,970 cases of stroke.
Compared with patients who did not consume olive oil, those with higher olive oil intake, defined as more than 7 g per day, had a 21% lower risk for CHD (pooled HR = 0.79; 95% CI, 0.7-0.89) and a 15% lower risk for total CVD (pooled HR = 0.85; 95% CI, 0.77-0.93) after adjusting for major lifestyle and diet factors. Total stroke or ischemic stroke did not exhibit a similar association.
Researchers estimated that replacing 5 g of butter, margarine, dairy fat or mayonnaise with olive oil was linked to a 5% to 7% lower risk for CHD and total CVD.
Other plant oils such as safflower and corn did not exhibit significant associations with CHD or total CVD.
“One of the things that we couldn’t analyze here was the different varieties of olive oil, if it was extra-virgin or common olive oil,” Guasch-Ferre told Healio. “That’s something we need a little bit more research on this area, and also the effects of vegetable oils on health outcomes. That’s also something that needs a little bit more research, and to try to understand better the underlying mechanisms of this association.” – by Darlene Dobkowski
Guasch-Ferre M, et al. Abstract P509. Presented at: American Heart Association Epidemiology, Prevention, Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Scientific Sessions; March 3-6, 2020; Phoenix.
Guasch-Ferre M, et al. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2020;doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2020.02.036.
Disclosures: Guasch-Ferre reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.