Cardiovascular disease (CVD) accounts for more than 17 million deaths per year worldwide. It has been estimated that the influence of lifestyle on CVD mortality amounts to 13.7% for smoking, 13.2% for poor diet, and 12% for inactive lifestyle. These results deeply impact both the healthy status of individuals and their skills in working. The impact of CVD on productivity loss accounts for the 24% in total costs for CVD management.
Mediterranean diet (MedD) can positively impact on natural history of CVD. It is characterized by a relatively high consumption of inexpensive and genuine food such as cereals, vegetables, legumes, nuts, fish, fresh fruits, and olive oil as the principal source of fat, low meat consumption and low-to-moderate consumption of milk, dairy products, and wine.
Its effects on cardiovascular health are related to the significant improvements in arterial stiffness. Peripheral artery disease, coronary artery disease, and chronic heart failure are all positively influenced by the MedD. Furthermore, MedD lowers the risk of sudden cardiac death due to arrhythmias.
The present narrative review aims to analyze the effects of MedD on CVD.
aSurgical, Medical and Dental Department of Morphological Sciences Related to Transplant, Oncology and Regenerative Medicine, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena
bDepartment of Cardiology, ASL Brindisi, Brindisi
cDepartment of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine, University of Bologna, Bologna
dDepartment of Cardiovascular, Respiratory, Nephrological, Anesthesiological and Geriatric Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome
eDepartment of Clinical and Surgical Specialities, Radiological Sciences and Public Health, University of Brescia, Brescia
fEndocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Parma, Parma
gDepartment of Medical Sciences ‘M. Aresu’, University of Cagliari, Cagliari
hDepartment of Cardiology ‘S. Maugeri’ Foundation, IRCCS, Institute of Cassano Murge, Bari
iDepartment of Cardiology, Centro Cardiologico Monzino, IRCCS, Milano
jSection of Urology, Department of Medical and Oral Sciences and Biotechnologies, G. D’Annunzio University of Chieti-Pescara, Chieti
kDepartment for Promotion of Health (PROSAMI), University of Palermo
lDepartment of Cardiology, University Hospital ‘Paolo Giaccone’, Palermo
mDepartment of Cardiac Rehabilitation, IRCCS Fondazione Salvatore Maugeri, Scientific Institute of Tradate, Tradate, Varese
nCardiovascular Diseases Section, Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation (DETO), University ‘A. Moro’ of Bari, Bari
oSchool of Medicine, University of Milano-Bicocca, Milan
pCardiology Department, University of Pisa, Pisa
qDepartment of Cardiology, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy
Correspondence to Pietro Scicchitano, MD, Cardiovascular Diseases Section, Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation (DETO), University ‘A. Moro’ of Bari, Piazza G. Cesare, 11-70124 Bari, Italy Tel: +39 0805593550; e-mail: email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org
Received 29 May, 2017
Revised 22 August, 2017
Accepted 29 August, 2017