Mediterranean diet reduces stroke risk, particularly among women

Image: Bigstock

Research we're watching

Published: December, 2018

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.

As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.