Adherence to the Mediterranean diet decreases the risk of stroke in the Lebanese population: a case-control study

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Diet, Mediterranean, Diet, Healthy, Stroke, Risk Assessment, Risk Reduction Behavior, Case-Control Studies, Lebanon


Objective: The objective of this study was to assess adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MeD) and the risk of stroke in the Lebanese population.

Methods: A hospital based case-control study was conducted in Lebanon between January 1st, 2015 and December 31st, 2016. Data were collected prospectively using a standardized questionnaire. Adherence to the MeD was assessed based on the total number of points a patient can have on the MeD scale. Data were analysed using SPSS version 24. The strength of association between the risk of stroke and adherence to MeD was expressed in odds ratio (OR) through 95% confidence interval. P-value <0.05 determined statistical significance.

Results: Around 205 stroke cases and 445 hospitalized stroke-free patients were included in this study. In the total study sample, the MeD had a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 11 points with a median of 7 points. Stroke patients had a lower MeD median compared to controls (6 vs 8 points). Around 29.5% of the total sample had a MeD score within the first quartile (52.3% of them had a stroke) and 24% of all included subjects scored within the last quartile (7% of them hospitalized for stroke) (p<0.001). The higher the adherence to MeD the lower the risk of stroke. High adherence to MeD was associated with a decreased risk of stroke, OR 0.1 (95%CI, 0.04-0.24; p<0.001).

Conclusions: Higher adherence to MeD significantly decreases the risk of stroke in the Lebanese population. Good lifestyle choices are encouraged in order to prevent many vascular diseases including stroke.

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