Abstract P285: Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet is Associated with Longer Telomere Length in Patients with Coronary Artery Disease
Introduction: The Mediterranean diet pattern has been consistently shown to be beneficial for cardiovascular health in both observation studies and intervention trials. Fruits, vegetables, olive oil and nuts, key components of the Mediterranean diet, have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties known to affect biological aging. Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is a marker of biological aging, and shorter LTL has been associated with CVD and its risk factors. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet has been linked to longer LTL in a community sample, but whether this is also true among patients with established coronary artery disease (CAD) is not known.
Methods: Diet was assessed using the Block 2005 food-frequency questionnaire in 270 subjects with pre-existing CAD. A Mediterranean diet score (MDS) ranging from 0 to 8 was calculated using established methodology; a higher score indicates greater adherence to Mediterranean diet. The score was divided into 3 categories: low MDS (score ≤ 2), moderate MDS (score 3-5) and high MDS (score ≥ 6). LTL was measured by quantitative PCR. The association between MDS and LTL was assessed using linear regression models.
Results: Mean age was 64 years (SD: 9), 55 (20%) were females and 181 (67%) were whites. After adjusting for age, sex, race, CAD risk factors, and total calorie intake, there was a graded association between MDS categories and LTL. Compared with patients in the low MDS category, those in the moderate MDS category had 0.05 units longer LTL (0.84 vs. 0.79, 95% CI: 0.01, 0.09), and those in the high MDS category had 0.06 units longer LTL (0.85 vs. 0.79, 95% CI: 0.02, 0.10), p for trend = 0.01 (Figure 1).
Conclusion: Among subjects with pre-existing CAD, adherence to the Mediterranean diet pattern is associated with longer telomere length. In our sample, patients with at least moderate adherence to the Mediterranean diet were biologically about 10 year younger than their chronological age compared with those in the low MDS category.
Author Disclosures: P.M. Pimple: None. K. Wilmot: None. I. Al Mheid: None. J. Zhao: None. J. Lin: None. E. Blackburn: None. C. Rooks: None. M. Goetz: None. Y. Sun: None. J. Bremner: None. A.A. Quyyumi: None. V. Vaccarino: None.
- © 2016 by American Heart Association, Inc.