London, Jan 22: A Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or with nuts may lower the risk of developing peripheral artery disease (PAD).
“To our knowledge, this is the first randomised primary prevention trial to suggest an association between a dietary intervention and reduction in PAD,” said Miguel Ruiz-Canela of University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain.
Earlier studies have reported a reduction in heart attack and stroke with a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or with nuts, said the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
The researchers assessed the association of Mediterranean diets with the occurrence of symptomatic PAD in 7,477 participants – with an average age of 67 years – and 58 percent of whom were women.
Participants were randomised to 1 of 3 groups: a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil; a Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts; or counselling on a low-fat diet (control group).
There were 89 confirmed new cases of clinical PAD after a median (midpoint) follow-up of 4.8 years.
Both Mediterranean diet interventions were associated with a lower risk of PAD compared with the control group, said the study.