15 june 2010

Mediterranean Dietary Pattern Is Associated With Improved Cardiac Autonomic Function Among Middle-Aged Men: A Twin Study

BACKGROUND: Reduced heart rate variability (HRV), a measure of cardiac autonomic dysfunction, is a risk factor for coronary artery disease. Diet can influence HRV, but this association may be confounded by genetic and environmental factors.

METHODS AND RESULTS: We administered the Willett Food Frequency Questionnaire to 276 middle-aged male twins. We derived a score measuring the extent to which an individual's diet conformed to the Mediterranean diet following a published algorithm. The higher the score, the greater the similarity to the Mediterranean diet. All twins underwent 24-hour ambulatory ECG recording. Time and frequency domain measures of HRV were calculated. Mixed-effects regression was used to partition the association into between- and within-twin pair differences. After adjusting for energy intake, other nutritional factors, shared genes, and common environment, a 1-unit higher score was significantly associated with 3.9% to 13% higher time and frequency domain HRV parameters. Further controlling for known cardiovascular risk factors and use of fish oil supplements and medications did not substantially change the estimates.

CONCLUSIONS:The Mediterranean dietary pattern is associated with higher HRV.

Additional Info

  • Authors

    Dai J.; Lampert R.; Wilson P.W.; Goldberg J.; Ziegler T.R.; Vaccarino V.
  • Issue

    Circ.Cardiovasc.Qual.Outcomes / pages 366-73 / volume 3(4)
  • Published Date

    15 june 2010