Influence of the degree of adherence to the Mediterranean diet on the cardiometabolic risk in peri and menopausal women. The Flamenco project

P. Ruiz-Cabello*, I. Coll-Risco, P. Acosta-Manzano, M. Borges-Cosic, F. J. Gallo-Vallejo, P. Aranda, M. López-Jurado, V. A. Aparicio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background and aims The Mediterranean diet (MD) has been associated with reduced morbidity from cardiovascular diseases in the general population. The aim of this study was to assess whether different degrees of adherence to the MD were associated with the cardiometabolic risk in peri and menopausal women. Methods and results This cross-sectional study included 198 peri and menopausal women participating in the Flamenco project. Validated questionnaires were used to assess menopause health-related quality of life and degree of adherence to the MD (low, medium and high). The following cardiometabolic risk factors were assessed: fat mass percentage, waist circumference, blood pressure and resting heart rate, plasma markers (total cholesterol, high and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol [HDL-C and LDL-C, respectively], total cholesterol/HDL ratio, triglycerides, C-reactive protein and fasting glucose), Physical activity levels and smoking status. The degree of adherence to the MD among the study sample was 27%, 40% and 30% for low, medium and high adherence, respectively. After controlling for potential confounders, women with a high adherence to the MD showed lower plasma total cholesterol (p = 0.025), resting heart rate (p = 0.005), LDL-C (p = 0.019), triglycerides (p = 0.046) and C-reactive protein (p = 0.009) compared to those with a low adherence. Likewise women with high adherence to the MD showed lower total cholesterol/HDL-C ratio (p = 0.020) compared to those with a medium adherence. The high MD adherence group also showed lower clustered cardiometabolic risk (p = 0.004). Moreover, when analysing specific MD components, whole grain cereals, pulses (both p < 0.05) and red wine (p < 0.01) consumption were inversely associated with the clustered cardiometabolic risk. Conclusion The present findings suggest that a high but not medium adherence to the MD is associated with a cardioprotective effect in peri and menopausal women. As a low percentage of the sample showed a high adherence to the MD, future research aimed at increasing the adherence to this dietary pattern for a better cardiometabolic status during peri and menopause is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-224
Number of pages8
JournalNutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017

Cite this