In June 2018 researchers from Spain and the USA published their study to assess the association between the Mediterranean diet and cardiovascular risk. A total of 7,447 individuals (aged 55 to 80 years, 57% women) at high risk for developing cardiovascular disease but no disease at the start of the study, were assigned to receive one of three diets: a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with mixed nuts, or a control diet (advice to reduce dietary fat). All individuals received quarterly educational sessions and, depending on group assignment, free provision of extra-virgin olive oil, or mixed nuts. Follow-up was for an average of 5 years. 1,588 individuals were known or suspected to have deviated from their assigned diet and their results were omitted from the final analysis. Results showed that the incidence of major cardiovascular events was lower among those assigned to a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts than among those assigned to a reduced-fat diet.
Estruch R et al. Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet Supplemented with Extra-Virgin Olive Oil or Nuts. N Engl J Med. 2018 Jun 21;378(25):e34.