Coronary Diet Intervention with Olive oil and Cardiovascular
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Patients with coronary heart disease were randomized to a Mediterranean diet (n = 502) versus a low-fat diet (n = 500). Participants in the Mediterranean group received one liter of extra virgin olive oil per week, with instructions to use one tablespoon of olive oil per day. Participants in the low-fat diet group received healthy food bag packs rich in complex carbohydrates, with instructions to use <2 tablespoons of vegetable oil per day.

Total number of enrollees: 1,002; Duration of follow-up: 7 years; Mean patient age: 59.5 years; Percentage female: 18%;
Percentage with diabetes: 54%. Inclusion criteria: Patients 20-75 years of age, Established coronary heart disease (acute myocardial infarction, hospitalization for unstable angina, or chronic high-risk ischemic heart disease).

The primary outcome, myocardial infarction, revascularization, ischemic stroke, peripheral artery disease, or cardiovascular death, occurred at a crude rate of 28.1 events per person-years in the Mediterranean diet group versus 37.7 events per person-years in the low-fat diet group (p = 0.039). Among patients with established coronary heart disease, a Mediterranean diet versus a low-fat diet was successful at preventing major adverse cardiovascular events. The event curves appear to separate after approximately 3 years. Important differences from this study and the Lyon Diet Heart Study are that the latter used canola oil and the comparator was a prudent Western-type diet.