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Atherosclerosis. 2013 Feb;226(2):502-9. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2012.11.035. Epub 2012 Dec 10.

The Southern European Atlantic Diet is associated with lower concentrations of markers of coronary risk.

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  • 1Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, School of Medicine, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid/IdiPAZ, Madrid, Spain.



The Southern European Atlantic Diet (SEAD) is the traditional diet of Northern Portugal and Galicia, a region in northwest Spain. The SEAD has been associated with a lower risk of non-fatal acute myocardial infarction, but the mechanisms of this association have not yet been investigated. Thus, we examined the association between the SEAD and numerous biomarkers of coronary risk, blood pressure and anthropometrics.


Cross-sectional study conducted in 2008-2010 among 10,231 individuals representative of the population aged 18 years and older in Spain. Diet was assessed with a validated computerized diet history. SEAD adherence was measured with an index including 9 food components (fresh fish, cod, red meat and pork products, dairy products, legumes and vegetables, vegetable soup, potatoes, whole-grain bread, and wine), which ranges from 0 (lowest adherence) to 9 (highest adherence). C-reactive protein, uric acid, total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, glycated hemoglobin, insulin, leptin, fibrinogen, were determined in 12-h fasting blood samples, while creatinine and urine albumin were determined in urine.


Mean SEAD score was 2.9 points (inter-quartile range 2-4 points). Higher SEAD adherence was associated with a lower level of plasma C-reactive protein (adjusted difference in geometric means between the highest and lowest SEAD quartiles -0.2 mg/l; p for trend <0.001), plasma triglycerides (-3.4 mg/dl; p for trend 0.012), insulin (-0.5 mU/l; p for trend <0.001), HOMA-IR (-0.12; p for trend <0.001), urine albumin (-0.8 mg/l; p for trend <0.001), urine albumin-creatinine ratio (-0.3 mg/g creatinine; p for trend <0.034), and systolic blood pressure (-1.6 mm Hg; p for trend <0.001).


This study identifies possible mediators of the effect of SEAD on myocardial infarction, because SEAD is associated with a lower concentration of markers of inflammation and with reduced triglycerides, insulin, insulin resistance, and systolic blood pressure.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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