Lifestyle, Mediterranean diet and survival in European post-myocardial infarction patients

J. Iestra, K.T.B. Knoops, D. Kromhout, C.P.G.M. de Groot, D.E. Grobbee, W.A. van Staveren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The extent and benefits of adherence to lifestyle and dietary recommendations in secondary prevention are largely unknown. Design: We examined the frequency of healthy dietary and lifestyle behaviours and their impact on survival in post-myocardial infarction (MI) patients in a prospective cohort study of elderly Europeans. Methods: Adherence to a Mediterranean-type diet was measured with a modified Mediterranean Diet Score (MDS) on an eight-point scale. Results: Participants were 426 men and women, aged 70 years or more, from 10 European countries, with a history of MI. During 10 years of follow-up mortality was 53%. Frequency of non-smoking behaviour (85%), moderate to vigorous physical activity (54%), moderate alcohol consumption (45%) and a Mediterranean-type diet (63%) in patients differed only marginally as compared with 'healthy' elderly. The median MDS in patients from northern Europe was two points lower than in southern Europe. Non-smoking [hazards ratio (HR) 0.62; 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.44-0.88], physical activity (HR 0.69; 95% CI 0.53-0.90), moderate alcohol consumption (HR 0.77; 95% CI 0.58-1.02) and a Mediterranean-type diet (HR 0.75; 95% CI 0.57-0.97) were associated with lower all-causes mortality. Presence of at least three healthy behaviours was associated with 40% lower mortality. Conclusion: There is a strong relationship between lifestyle and dietary habits and mortality in post-MI patients. The findings implicate that substantial health gain can be obtained by better adherence to dietary and lifestyle recommendations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)894-900
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • coronary-heart-disease
  • all-cause mortality
  • clinical-practice
  • elderly people
  • euroaspire-ii
  • risk-factors
  • men
  • prevention
  • prevalence
  • adherence

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