Diet and Lifestyle as Risk Factors for Carotid Artery Disease: A Prospective Cohort Study

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Background: Stroke is one of the leading causes of death, and out of all stroke cases, 10-15% originate from a previously asymptomatic stenosis in the internal carotid artery. Aims: The aim of the study was to investigate whether dietary and lifestyle habits were associated with future risk of incident carotid artery disease (CAD). Methods: Baseline examinations on middle-aged individuals (n = 30,447) in the Malmö Diet and Cancer study (MDCS), a prospective cohort study, took place between 1991 and 1996 in Malmö, Sweden. Individuals with cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus were excluded at baseline, resulting in a total study population of 25,952 patients. Information on dietary intake was gathered through a 7-day food diary, a detailed questionnaire, and a 1-h interview. A diet quality index was calculated from adherence to recommended intake of 6 dietary components (saturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, fish and shellfish, fiber, vegetables and fruit, and sucrose). Individuals with a first registered diagnosis of CAD were identified from the Swedish National Patient register. Results: During a median follow-up of 21.8 years, 469 participants (1.8%) developed CAD. The diagnosis of incident CAD was validated and confirmed in 99% of a random sample of 100 individuals. Higher intake of vegetables and fruit was associated with a trend of decreased risk of CAD in a Cox regression analysis (hazard ratio of 0.76, 95% confidence interval 0.56-1.03; p = 0.080). Conclusions: In conclusion, the present study found a trend toward a protective effect of higher intake of vegetables and fruit against incident CAD. More prospective studies investigating the association between diet and CAD and stroke are needed in order to give firm recommendations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)563–569
JournalCerebrovascular Diseases
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

© 2020 The Author(s) Published by S. Karger AG, Basel

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems


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