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Coffee, Mediterranean Diet Linked to Lower Stroke Risk

Long-term study in women shows positive impact of diet on cardiovascular outcomes

TUESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- In women, long-term coffee consumption and adherence to a Mediterranean diet are both associated with a decreased risk of stroke, according to two studies published online Feb. 16 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Both studies, from research teams at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, evaluated women from the Nurses' Health Study between 1980 and 2004 and 1984 and 2000 who had no history of stroke, coronary heart disease or diabetes. Esther Lopez-Garcia, Ph.D., and colleagues evaluated the effect of coffee consumption on cardiovascular outcomes in 83,076 women. Teresa T. Fung and colleagues calculated an Alternate Mediterranean Diet Score (AMDS) using self-reported dietary data from 74,886 women.

Lopez-Garcia and colleagues found a significant trend towards decreased risk of stroke with increasing coffee consumption. Women who consume four cups or more of coffee daily had a 20 percent decreased risk. This association was especially strong among never and past smokers. Fung's team found that compared with women having the lowest AMDS, women with the highest score had the lowest risk for both coronary heart disease (RR, 0.71) and stroke (RR, 0.87).

"Our data support the hypothesis that components in coffee other than caffeine may lower the risk of stroke," Lopez-Garcia and colleagues write. And Fung and colleagues conclude that "a greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet…was associated with a lower risk of incident coronary heart disease and stroke in women."

Abstract - Lopez-Garcia
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Abstract - Fung
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