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PLoS One. 2013 Aug 5;8(8):e71095. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0071095. Print 2013.

A high diet quality is associated with lower incidence of cardiovascular events in the Malmö diet and cancer cohort.

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Center for Emergency, Skåne University Hospital, Malmö, Sweden.



To investigate if diet quality is related to incidence of cardiovascular (CV) events.


A diet quality index based on the 2005 Swedish Nutrition Recommendations and the Swedish Dietary Guidelines was created and included six dietary components: saturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, fish and shellfish, dietary fiber, fruit and vegetables, and sucrose. The index ranked 17126 participants (59% women) of the population-based Malmö Diet and Cancer cohort (Sweden) on their dietary intakes. Total index score was categorized as low, medium or high. Cox proportional hazard regression was used to model associations between index score categories and index components with risk of incident CV events, with adjustment for potential confounders. The incidence of first CV events (non-fatal or fatal myocardial infarction or ischemic stroke or death from ischemic heart disease) was monitored from baseline (1991-1996) until December 31, 2008; 703 CV events occurred in women and 1093 in men.


A high diet quality was associated with decreased risk of CV events when compared to a low diet quality. In multivariate analysis, the risk reduction was 32% (hazard ratio = 0.68, 95% confidence interval: 0.49-0.73) in men and 27% (hazard ratio = 0.73, 95% confidence interval: 0.59-0.91) in women. When examined separately and mutually adjusted for each other, the individual components were either not associated with CV risk or marginally decreased risks were seen.


High quality diets in line with current recommendations may reduce the risk of CV events. This study illustrates the importance of considering a combination of dietary factors when evaluating diet-disease associations.

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