Abstract 4095: Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet Decreases Systemic IL-6 Among Middle-aged Monozygotic Male Twins Free of Symptomatic Cardiovascular Diseases
BACKGROUND: Adherence to the Mediterranean diet decreases all-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease. It remains unclear whether systemic inflammation is the underlying mechanism. We used a twin study to evaluate the hypothesis that the Mediterranean diet was inversely associated with systemic inflammation.
METHODS: We studied 54 monozygotic male twin pairs aged 48~58 yrs and free of symptomatic CVD. The twins were drawn from the Vietnam Era Twin Registry. A one-year dietary history was collected using Willet’s semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire. A Mediterranean diet score was calculated based on: high intake of vegetable, fruits and nuts, cereals, legumes and fish; high ratio of dietary monounsaturated to saturated fatty acids; moderate alcohol intake; and low intake of meats and dairy products. We obtained traditional CVD risk factors including smoking, physical activity, waist-to-hip ratio and diabetes. Fasting plasma concentrations of interleukin (IL-6) and C-reactive protein (hsCRP) were also measured. Systemic inflammation markers were log transformed for use in a mixed-effect regression model.
RESULTS: There was an inverse association between Mediterranean diet score and both IL-6 and hsCRP (Table⇓). Adjustment for energy intake, potatoes, eggs, smoking, physical activity, waist-to-hip ratio and diabetes did not change the results. In twin pairs discordant for Mediterranean diet score (whose intra-pair score difference was not 0), IL-6 was 2.0 times (95% CI 1.2–3.2, P=0.008) higher in twins with lower Mediterranean diet scores than their co-twins with higher scores.
CONCLUSIONS: Systemic inflammation is inversely associated with adherence to the Mediterranean diet after controlling for genetic, familial and lifestyle factors.