Mediterranean diet reduces stroke risk, particularly among women

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Eating a Mediterranean-style diet, which is rich in fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and nuts, may help women over 40 reduce the risk of stroke, according to a study published in the journal Stroke.

The study enrolled more than 20,000 adults, ages 40 to 77, who were asked to record what they ate in a seven-day diet diary. Researchers then compared their diet and their stroke risk over a 17-year period.

People in the study whose eating most closely resembled the Mediterranean-style diet had a lower risk of stroke compared with other participants in the study. For adults over all, the risk was 17% lower, but the benefit was far larger in women than in men — 22% reduced risk for women versus 6% for men.

It's not clear what the reason was for the difference, and researchers said the finding warrants more study.