In both perimenopausal and menopausal women, only high adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with reduced cardiometabolic risk, whereas medium adherence was not, according to findings from a cross-sectional study.
Pilar Ruiz-Cabello Turmo, BSc, of the department of physiology at the University of Granada in Spain, and colleagues analyzed data from 198 perimenopausal and menopausal women participating in the Flamenco project (mean age, 53 years; 41% with overweight; 22% with obesity). Women completed questionnaires assessing menopause health-related quality of life and the degree of adherence to the Mediterranean diet, classified as low (Mediterranean diet score < 29.99), medium (score, 30-33.99) or high (score 34). Researchers measured cardiometabolic risk factors, including fat mass percentage, waist circumference, blood pressure, resting heart rate, lipid profile, fasting glucose level, cardiorespiratory fitness and smoking status. Researchers created a clustered cardiometabolic risk score (z score) and compared cardiometabolic risk across Mediterranean diet adherence groups via adjusted analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) models.
Within the cohort, 30% of women were highly adherent to the Mediterranean diet; 27% were low-adherent; 40% were medium-adherent; mean Mediterranean diet score was 31, reflecting medium adherence overall.
Women with high adherence had a lower mean total cholesterol level (P = .025), resting heart rate (P = .005), LDL cholesterol (P = .019), triglycerides (P = .046) and C-reactive protein (P = .009) vs. women with low adherence; results persisted after adjustment for age, BMI, regular menstruation, smoking status, hormone therapy and physical activity. Women with high adherence also had a lower mean total cholesterol/HDL cholesterol ratio (P = .02) vs. women with medium adherence, according to researchers.
After adjustment for age, BMI, regular menstruation, smoking status, HT and physical activity, women with high adherence to the Mediterranean diet had a lower clustered cardiometabolic risk vs. women with low or medium adherence (P = .004 overall).
“Although some components of the [Mediterranean diet], such as whole grain cereals, pulses and red wine, were associated with lower clustered cardiometabolic risk, individual associations were less significant than the association between the [Mediterranean diet] adherence groups and the clustered cardiometabolic risk,” the researchers wrote. –by Regina Schaffer
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.