Mediterranean diet associated with stroke severity

High adherence to a Mediterranean Diet is associated with reduced incidence and mortality of acute ischemic stroke (AIS) but may also be associated with severity.

In a new study the investigatos (Lavados, P.M., Mazzon, E., Rojo, A. et al. BMC Neurol 20, 252 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12883-020-01824-y) investigated the association of adherence to a Mediterranean diet and severity in a prospective hospital register of AIS patients.

They included AIS patients admitted from February 2017 to July 2019. All were assessed by a neurologist with a standard stroke protocol, including NIHSS. Adherence to Mediterranean diet was prospectively measured by the 14-point Mediterranean Diet Adherence Screener (MEDAS) and defined as low (0-6 points) or high (7-14 points). Demographic and clinical characteristics were compared by group with univariate analysis. A Generalized Linear Model (GLM) was used to investigate the association of admission NIHSS as a continuous ordinal variable and an ordinal logistic regression (OLR) analysis to determine the independent association of the NIHSS quartiles with adherence to Mediterranean diet.

After adjustments, high adherence to Mediterranean diet remained independently associated with lower stroke severity both in the Generalized Linear Model (β coefficient = − 0.19, p = 0.01) and in the ordinal logistic regression model (OR for lower NIHSS quartiles 0.6 (95% CI 0.37-0.98, p = 0.04).

In conclusion, higher pre-stroke adherence to a Mediterranean diet is independently associated with lower AIS severity.